Five Finger Death Punch Bassist Celebrates Sober Milestone

By Kelly Burch 02/12/19

Before getting sober, bassist Chris Kael used about an eightball of cocaine a week to help manage untreated mental health issues.

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Five Finger Death Punch bassist Chris Kael
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Chris Kael, who plays bass in the heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch, has been sober for a year and took to Twitter to celebrate his milestone. 

"May my hitting my first sober birthday yesterday give hope to those of you also struggling with addiction. It can be done. And, you will thank yourself when you too hit these milestones. Keep your chin up and those feet moving! #ShitYesSon #SoberAsFuck #SFG” Kael wrote on February 4, according to Blabbermouth

Kael had previously said that he used about an eight-ball of cocaine each week to help manage his untreated mental health conditions. 

"That got to be the biggest problem for me," he said. "That and depression, the two things, were not good. I didn't realize it until I got into rehab that I was self-medicating with cocaine to get my dopamine levels up to fight the depression. I never even thought about that. And then when you come off it, you crash hard.”

Kael said that it was difficult to watch the band’s lead vocalist Ivan Moody struggle publicly with addiction, while Kael kept his substance use more private. 

"Ivan was going through his thing, and me, no one really knew, I was the quiet one that was kind of doing things on the side. That was one of the things that was eating away at me too—my guy had a huge problem, and here I am, a quiet problem.”

Although Moody missed some tours for treatment, Kael usually was at his worst when the touring ended, he said. 

“It hit me hard when I got off the road. Going home was always hard anyway, 'cause you've got so much stimulation out on the road, and then you come home and you're, like, 'Wait a minute? I've gotta take out the trash? That's the biggest part of my job now?’"

Kael said on Twitter his wife helped him get into treatment and kickstart his sobriety.

"Had she not busted me trying to restock after burning through $1300 in blow in two days in late January [2018], I truly believe that I would not be here today,” he said. “She has silently and bravely dealt with far more than what would have crushed any other woman. Her loyalty, patience, TRUE love and resolve are unmatched by any other woman I've ever known.”

Although admitting he was powerless was difficult, Kael is glad that he did it. 

"Throwing my hands to the universe and admitting I was at a fucking low and no longer able to do it myself was one of the most humbling and powerful things I've ever done in my life."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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