All posts filed under: Sober Berlin

Anon drawing at desk, illustration by Peter Wood

Sober Berlin: On alcohol as creative poison and finding new heroes

by Anonymous Illustrations by Peter Wood I have been a seeker all my life. I was always looking for something or someone to give me a creative edge. I took quite a few mushrooms and LSD as a younger man on a quest. I went hiking in the Andes chewing coca leaves for six days. At one point I even went to northern Mexico in search of peyote (I found it). While I would not take any of these amazing things away if I could, I do know now that none of them ever brought me anywhere near where I am today—sober and living in the moment. Everyone, including myself, has been told the outrageous lie that drugs and alcohol are critical to create. I thought all poets had to drink like Bukowski, all novelists had to drink like Hemingway, and all musicians had to drink like Gram Parsons. None of this is true, and that is the great thing about having outdated heroes: you can always fire them and pick new ones. My own …

Sober Berlin: On tarot and the stories we tell ourselves

Text by Hannah Graves Illustrations by Peter Wood I moved to Berlin in September 2012 with a single suitcase of inappropriate clothing and 300 euros to my name. JJ, an owner of the tattoo studio AKA Berlin, had taken a chance on a troubled 27-year-old desperate to get out of the South Coast of England and offered me a job as a piercer. I gave up my apartment, sold my belongings, and never looked back. I had been in and out of the doctors’ office since the start of my 20s. I suffered from terrible depression and anxiety and was prone to panic attacks. I’d been told I would need to remain medicated once I moved to Berlin, but threw all my tablets in the bin at Gatwick, convinced that a total change of environment would surely be the solution. I landed with all the hallmark enthusiasm of someone who can be prone to bouts of mania. I threw myself into my new job and friendship group. I loved Berlin for her dive bars and …

Sober Berlin: On bondage, sobriety, and the beauty of vulnerability

Text by Vanina Tsoneva Illustration by Peter Wood This is the first instalment in our series on artists living sober in Berlin—and how their creative practises have helped them maintain sobriety. While I only partly remember the details of one particular drunk BDSM session, I will never forget the feeling of fear and anxiety to which I woke up the morning after. I sat in a cafe on a rainy day in Glasgow and was horrified by the fact that I didn’t remember chunks of the previous night’s experience. Did we use condoms? When did we actually start having sex? Did we really drink that much?