Utah artist on how his addiction help fueled the creation of his new single “Tainted”
Growing up in a traditional Utah household, Tyler Gould was living the all-American dream. He was active in multiple sports and even a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. But after getting an itch to sell extra ADD medicine that he had laying around when he was fourteen years old, his life would never be the same.
“I actually was not using any drugs but I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I had an old ADD medication sitting around and someone told me, ‘Hey, those are worth a little bit of money,’ Tyler recalled. “I think that was my first addiction, that rush of being sneaky.”
Tyler’s descent into addiction
Tyler began to slowly start experimenting with various drugs throughout his teenage years. “I was about fifteen years old where that chase … for a high began, ” he explained. His newfound passion for chasing the high slowly began to deteriorate the bridges that connected him to his younger self. He was eventually kicked out of his house due to his substance abuse and was forced to move in with his uncle down in Provo.
Most people would consider how substances have impacted their lives and look towards making positive changes but for Tyler, it only pushed him further down the hole of addiction.
No longer was he looking towards graduating high school or playing sports, his focus was on that newfound high. “Anybody that’s an addict understands that feeling of the first time where there’s just a shift in the way that I thought.” Tyler began to hang out with the wrong crowd and started making poor life choices. He now recalls how different his personality was from his friends.
“I was always the one that was going to grab another beer or grab a little more weed and everybody else seemed like they were at their level and content,” he described. “I never really felt like I had that stopping point.”
The feeling of not being able to overcome abuse
Throughout the years, Tyler would begin to party excessively and spend multiple stints in recovery trying to curb his addiction. He’d spent years using various substances while traveling all over the western coast of the U.S. All the while, beginning to refine his passion for songwriting. Being able to rely on making music became an outlet for Tyler. It was the only way he could truly express what he was feeling in such a tumultuous time in his life.
Tyler knew he was on a dark path but he couldn’t find a way to kick the life-altering addiction. It had been plaguing him for years and he didn’t see a way out. But one day he got the news that his sister, with who he had a very close relationship, had passed away in her sleep.
“I just got shattered. It was just devastating,” Tyler said.
The loss of his sister marked a shift in the way he began to look at himself and the way he viewed his recovery.
No longer was he quick to push off others’ suggestions of sobriety and recovery, he realized that if he wanted to finally get sober for himself, he was going to need help. “Humility was the biggest thing that made that shift for me. I just finally got humble and I just finally started listening a little bit,” he described. “You have to let your mind and your whole soul see it first. You have to let your mind go there and believe it full-heartedly.”
Finding inspiration for “Tainted” in the dark
Being able to listen to others and seek help for some of the problems that led him down the dark road of addiction has also led him to where he is now.
“I tell people when I’m having hard days,” Tyler explained. “I surrounded myself with people that wanted to help me and that I could trust and I let them help me.”
One of those people just happens to be his wife. She has been there to help him during recovery and always encourages him to follow his dream of performing music. So much so, that she pushed him to perform at an open mic night. Following his set, Tyler would ultimately meet someone who would change his life forever.
“I ended up meeting somebody that’s made everything come true. The person that I met there changed my entire and the course of my career,” he said.
Now that he’s two years sober, he uses his pain to help shed a light on addiction. By doing so, he hopes he can help others know that they’re not alone. That also is the core theme behind his new song, “Tainted”. Tyler is now focused on sharing what he’s learned through addiction to help others. “Part of my personal goal and mission in life is to grab onto some light that’s out there in the universe and be able to take that to places that need it the most,” he concluded.
Listen to “Tainted” or download the podcast below
You can stream “Tainted” by Tyler Gould wherever you get your music. You can also see a live performance of “Tainted” on the Project Recovery Facebook page. For more information on ways to avoid becoming physically dependent on opioids, you can visit Project Recovery on Facebook, KSL TV, or Know Your Script. To hear more from Casey Scott and Dr. Matt Woolley, you can subscribe to the ‘Project Recovery’ podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get major podcasts.