MIDLAND, Texas (KPEJ) – Back in February, local Midland artist, Michael Quinn, celebrated 8 years sober. His passion for painting has brought him to realize how his life truly is worth living, now he’s hoping to make an impact on others.
“I didn’t know it was even a problem until you know, 2004, life was getting real rough, and in 2005 I had an overdose, and wasn’t expected to live through the night, and made it through the night,” said Quinn.
Quinn’s journey through recovery, has made him see his art in a different light.
“I can approach it with a clear mind. I know a lot of people say, artists must be out of their minds to create all that good stuff. Well, you know I did that too and it worked for a little while but then it didn’t work anymore. And when it didn’t work anymore, nothing worked anymore.”
Quinn said 8 years ago, his addiction almost cost him everything.
He said he was living at home with his mom at 40-years-old and was in such an intense state of depression that he didn’t know how to get out of, and on February 2nd 2014, Quinn made the decision to take his own life.
That was the very moment he said realized he needed help more than ever, and made what he said was the best decision to change his life.
“As hard as that experience was, I needed that experience to humble me and put things into perspective,” added Quinn.
Quinn said the journey of his recovery was not the easiest and came with a lot of struggles, but he said it was all worth it, in the end.
After almost a decade of either not painting or painting in an unclear state of mind, he tried to paint sober again for the first time.
He said it took him nearly 9 months to find himself again in his paintings after sobering up, and now he said he’s painting the best work he’s ever done.
“I kept thinking, I can’t paint sober, I don’t know how to paint sober, it was really uncomfortable for me, but I wasn’t willing to drink again, I was more willing to walk away from ever painting again, then I was to drink again and that was my commitment to sobriety.”
Quinn said his paintings have now been created in his sobriety and looking back on his life and seeing where he is now, he is loving life and thankful for every second he has.
“I’m grateful, you know, I’m really grateful to be where I am because, that’s one of the things in recovery that I always have to keep in mind, is that I’m grateful and I have to accept life on life’s terms and that no matter what it is and no matter how hard life is getting is that I have to accept it and the sooner that I can accept it, the sooner I can move into gratitude and find things to be grateful for.”
After all of this, Quinn said his artwork has distracted him in the best way to continue to focus on his sobriety.
He mentioned, “I think the art is good for me, for a guy like me is good because it keeps my mind really busy when I’m doing it, I’m really focused on the art and I’m proud of what I do, and you know the art has been a really great outlet for me to go to.”
Now he said that recovery has changed the way he lives his life.
“Recovery has given me a way to live life authentically. You know if I go take a drink or do a drug, the moment that alcohol touches my lips or the drug enters my system, I don’t get to be authentic anymore, and for me that’s what recovery is about, is living authentically,” emphasized Quinn.
Quinn’s main purpose for telling his story is to make sure others are aware there is help out there and that you are not alone.
And he now lives by one mantra, one he encourages others to keep in mind.
“Hesitation makes you older and patience gets the job done, that’s been my mantra in painting or in sobriety, because I will sit there and hesitate and procrastinate forever. But yeah, hesitation makes you older and patience gets the job done.”
Quinn said he is thriving now more than ever and hopes his story can make an impact on those going through the same troubling times he experienced.
If you want to learn more about Quinn’s art or his story, check out his website, Michael Quinn Art. There you can find his artwork over the years, the shows he has coming up, and a little more about his personal story.