Jesse Daniel is celebrating an impressive six years of sobriety today.
He shared an incredibly personal and candid post about his struggles with addiction and alcohol, how it led him to jail many times, and his ultimately getting clean and finding hope after the dark times he went through in his life.
Of course, we all know that the country music industry celebrates and glorifies alcohol, and it can be incredibly difficult for artists to be out on the road surrounded by it constantly, especially when it’s something they struggle with already.
It’s admirable that he’s so open about what he’s been through, and I’m sure it will certainly encourage other people who have, or are currently, going through similar things.
The post is lengthy, but more than worth it to take a few minutes out of your day to read:
“Today I have 6 years clean and sober. I post these mugshots every year on this date to remind myself of how far I’ve come and to inspire anybody looking to change their life. I was one of those cases that people considered hopeless.
In and out of jail, rehabilitation centers and after I burned all the bridges with my family and friends, homeless. Some try to paint a light of glamour on this type of life and I’ll be the first to tell you those people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.
There’s nothing glamorous about any of it and chances are they don’t have the faintest clue about what it means to suffer in this way. I wrote “Gray” about that. I nearly lost my life many times, and it followed me into my relationship with Jodi. I almost lost her in the beginning and I had a choice to make… life or death, love or solitude.
On 1/7/2017 I chose life and wouldn’t have been able to get through it if it weren’t for her being there for me in every way. I finally had direction and purpose. Purpose is the most important piece of the puzzle of sobriety… without it I’d have no foundation to hold on to when the going gets tough… and believe me it does get tough.
Anybody can find purpose, sometimes it’s just a matter of being beaten down enough to see it. To get clean or sober is not the easy path in life. If you’ve dealt with addiction it may be the hardest thing you ever do. It was for me, but I can’t convey to you how absolutely worth it it was.
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the support of @jodi.lyford and my family, I love you all. Today, I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. Good relationships, a career making the music that I love and true purpose. I’ve learned skills and hobbies that I’m proud of.
I’m able to hold my head up high and be the man I always wanted to be. If you’re struggling or know someone who is, don’t give up. Send me a message, reach out and hold on. I’ve never heard anybody say ‘Man, my life sure went down the drain since I got clean and sober…’ – it’s only up from here.
Thank you for reading and for being with me on this journey of life. I’m thankful for you and for 6 years today.”
He also shared a mugshot and picture of his inmate I.D. from the Santa Cruz County correctional facility, mainly as a reminder to himself on this day how far he’s come since that time in his life: