So, I just finished reading Save Me From Myself by Brian “Head” Welch (you know, the guy from Korn with the crazy long tendrils). What an incredible read! I devoured this book in, like, three days. I just couldn’t put it down. A few adjectives that come to mind: Gripping. Intense. Unbelievable. Be warned: it is an addictive page-turner from start to finish that will give you some pretty wacked out dreams if you read it right before going to bed (just so you know).
More than an autobiography, Save Me From Myself is one man’s recount of finding faith, life and purpose in the midst of self-induced hell on earth. Through most of his life Head seemingly had it all. As a founding member of Korn, one of the largest metal bands to hit the 90’s music scene, Head lived what many would call a fantasy life. Earning millions of dollars a year, traveling the world, selling out stadiums throughout the country, Head was living a life many of us only dream about.
However, there was a dark side. Rage, loneliness, depression, dependence on alcohol and prescription pills as well as an addiction to meth kept Head numb to life and in a drunken, drug-filled stupor for years.
The first tour I did in the middle of this drug-soaked depression was Ozzfest, during a beautiful summer that I paid absolutely no attention to. …I just sat in the back of my tour bus, alone, every night. …Sometimes I heard Ozzy performing those same songs I listened to when I was a kid, but I never went to watch them. That enthusiasm from Korn’s early days was gone. I just sat there in so much dark depression and asked myself deep questions. ‘How did I get here? Why can’t I enjoy this life? Isn’t being a rock star supposed to be fun? Why is my life such a nightmare? Why do bad things keep happening to me?’ It felt like i was under a curse, honestly. And it didn’t look like I was ever going to get out.
…The drugs really started to get in the way. I wanted to quit so bad–I had been promising myself for months that I would quit…but I never could shake it. I was addicted physically and mentally. With the depression and disillusionment that the drug gave me, I had convinced myself that I might not ever be able to quit—and if I quit the band, I would never be a normal, happy person. And that’s when I started thinking about death. I looked terrible. I started having thoughts about how it would be a relief if I would OD in my tour bus or in a hotel room. It seemed like it might be a good escape for me. In my darkest moments it just felt like it was the only way out and the easiest, since by that time I was convinced that death meant I would just turn into dust and sleep forever.
Through a series of painful events Head realized if his life didn’t change his addiction would kill him, leaving his 5 year-old daughter, Jeanna, parentless.
At the invitation of a trusted friend, Head attended church and there heard a message strong and clear about the power of God’s love. That night, while snorting a line of meth, Head reached out to God—-who reached back.
In the second half of the book, Head shares the many, many changes that occurred in his life after he invited Jesus into his heart and gave God control of everything. While not an easy ride, and requiring time to heal from deep hurts, Head left Korn, quit drugs, sold most of his possessions and became the responsible, caring father his daughter deserved.
Ever since that intense week when I quit Korn and had my last drug binge, I have dedicated myself to living a life of purity through the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m not saying I’m perfect; I just try as best as I can, but there is no way I could do it with my own strength. The Word says that God is love, and I’m addicted to God’s love because he saved me from killing myself with drugs and alcohol. He saved my daughter from losing her dad. He took away all the bad things in my life, and I love him so much for that. Again, I’m not claiming to be some Holy Roller that lives a perfect, sin-free life.
I was just so deep in the gutter, the only way I could get out was for God to reveal himself to me, to show me that he’s real and that he really loves me. While I was in the worst of my life, I felt heaven come down and touch me. Because of that I’ll never be the same. It was the most intense feeling in the world. A very intense love that I had never felt before in my life, and that love is what I had been really craving my whole life.
What I really appreciate about Head’s story is his honesty. In a straight-up, no-holds-barred manner, Head describes the gritty details of his life, his mistakes and his addictions. In his own words, it was Head’s intention to “describe the monster that I was prior to reaching out to God so that God would receive all props for the miraculous transformation that has occurred” in Head’s life since that night he threw out the lifeline.
Since then, Head has penned many songs detailing the misery he put himself and others through as a consequence to his selfish and addictive behaviours and about the grace God offers everyday to begin anew. Below is one of the first songs Head wrote after asking God to live in his heart, aptly titled “Save Me From Myself.”
Save Me From Myself is the incredibly true story of one man’s encounter with a love that changed his life forever. If you do not believe in the power of transformation prior to reading this book, you certainly will by the time you turn the final page.
p.s. for those of you who live in Illinois, Brian “Head” Welch will be speaking at Christ Community Church in Saint Charles, ILL on Saturday, July 10, 2010 and Saturday, October 9, 2010. For more information visit: http://www.myspace.com/brianheadwelch