My Brother Is An Addict

I wanted to update you about our brother Brian Paul Cruess. He has been in recovery at Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco for over 6 months and recently graduated from the "maintenance" level, into the next phase which is called, "immigration". Amazing!!! 6 months! You have no idea how this feels.

It's a 2 year minimum program (for people to think you can change your life in 30 days or even 60 is absolutely absurd). But, he is on his way up and progressing forward.

We [Vokab Kompany] recently made a song for my little brother w/ our friend Gabe Lehner of 9 Theory. We are going to be sharing this song along with another in the next month(s). The song, Warm In The Light is part of a 2 track EP called, Beneath The Shallow. Warm In The Light &  Crack In The Sky will be available on a 45" record with a song on each side. This will be our gift to you for your donation along with a few other items.

We will be dusing the funding to cover the costs to create the vinyl record and the remainder will go to Delancey Street Foundation where my brother currently resides.

To learn more about Delancey Street please click here:

The song was a result of when myself and Matt Burke (along with our band) had to kidnap Brian and physically drag him into our van and off to jail so he essentially would not kill himself. For 3 months it was calm and quiet. He got out and was clean. He relapsed once again.

The next time he overdosed and a good friend of his found him in a hotel and saved his life. Thank you Sam.

I now think it's time to tell this story.

My friend Garrett works for a company called, Recovery Brands. We sent them over the song and the marketing dept. really loved it. To follow was a video interview with me discussing the role loved ones play with a family members addiction. He is addicted to heroin and meth.

This is the video they produced at Recovery Brands during Recovery Month (September) for their site, (which is being featured on The Mighty!) to share what it's like for loved ones going through this.

The idea was to shed some light on the stigma that is connected with addiction. Whatever shame, guilt, betrayal or anger we feel is nothing compared to the fact that the person might die if you don't let them know you love them and you will never give up.

Part of the interview involves my mom (whom I am so proud of for sharing this). One of the girls involved recently asked her the following question, "What is it like to love someone struggling with addiction?"

This is part of her answer:

"You hope it's not that bad. You hope it will get better. You prepare yourself. They might not survive. You must strengthen your mind -your heart. You look in on them when they are "sleeping ".You check their breathing -like a newborn. You know you must be so crazy.

You look for a lot of input, calling local rehab centers. Tahoe Turning Point, AA, NA, Salvation Army, Barton Hospital. Any, and all possible options. Some in CA, some in NV. You enlist your local police /sheriff for strength. You tell your loved one (Brian), that they are SO LOVED, SO VALUED, SO WORTH EVERY EFFORT. Please don't die... You keep hoping and praying that something Grand and Magical could happen..."

I look forward to sharing our music and story with you and ask you please share on our behalf or at least let anyone you know that might be stuggeling with something simliar, that they are NOT alone.  

Robbie and Burkey
Vokab Kompany

Beneath The Shallow EP:
Produced and Mixed by 9 Theory
Written by Robbie Gallo, Matt Burke, & Gabe Lehner
Mastered by Keith Gretlein
Album Artwork by David Wong


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Robbie Gallo 
San Diego, CA

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