“I was a functional alcoholic. I was constantly having alcohol in my system. While I wasn’t getting super smashed drunk every night, I’d usually get a beer after work. Then on the weekends, when I was DJ, I’d get free drinks, or I’d drink with my crew, and I would get obliterated every Thursday till Monday. So last year I started developing really bad cluster headaches. It’s like a wave of headaches that won’t go away. When my doctor gave me medicine and said, ‘You can’t drink’, I laughed and thought to myself, ‘You know who I am? I run on alcohol.’ Of course I had half a can of beer that night. The next day, I was crying out to my partner. ‘Take me to the hospital. I’m gonna die.’ That excruciating pain was good because it knocked some sense in me. That was my wake-up call. So I sobered up and quit drinking. Then I realized I did so many embarrassing things whenever I’d get intoxicated that it made me wonder, ‘How did I have friends? How did people put up with me?’ It occured to me that people got used to seeing me drunk. Sobering up and trying to reach back out to people, I realize that some people wanted nothing to do with me. And that’s totally fine. I can’t be mad with them for that. I can apologize and change, but they don’t owe it to me to let me come back in and fix things. Now I just drink a lot of non-alcoholic beer and focus on my band. I also run a business with my partner, helping kids connect with music through events and dance parties.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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