In his words, Travis Barker became known as "that dude who survived a plane crash" in the blink of an eye.
In a new interview with Men's Health, Travis opened up about his experience with PTSD and survivor's guilt as the last remaining survivor of a deadly plane accident that took place in September 2008.
The Blink-182 drummer and his friend Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein were returning home from a show in South Carolina when their plane's tires blew during takeoff. The fiery crash killed assistant Chris Baker, security guard Charles Still and the two pilots. Through Travis escaped with AM, he experienced third-degree burns over much of his body. And about a year later, AM died of an accidental drug overdose.
This week, Travis, 45, explained that he barely slept for weeks after he returned from the hospital to treat his burns.
The musician, who sought therapy for months, said, "I was dark... I couldn't walk down the street. If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash, and I just didn't want to see it."
He said the pain and trauma has gotten better as time goes on. He reflected, "The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff. I felt closer to the experience of trying to escape, [to] being in an accident and being burned, trying to grab my friends from a burning plane."
Travis revealed, "That haunted me for a long time," adding, "And as long as I was closer to that than this good stuff, I was always thinking about that. Now it's been so many years, it's getting easier for me. There are days where I'll wake up and never think about it."
The father of two said that when AM was still alive, they were "each other's therapists," because "it was just him and me." Travis went on, "When he left, I was like, ‘Oh, f--k. I'm the only one in my club. It's just me.' And I find my ways to deal with it."
One change he made after the plane crash was to stop abusing drugs. "People are always like, ‘Did you go to rehab?'" he recalled. "And I [say], ‘No, I was in a plane crash.' That was my rehab. Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call. If I wasn't in a crash, I would have probably never quit."
He hasn't been on a plane since that fateful day. Instead, he travels by cars, buses and even ships. But he'd like to conquer his fear one day and come home to tell his kids about his victory.
"If I do it, and the angels above help me in my travels and keep me safe, I would like to come back and [tell my children], ‘Hey, I just flew here, and then I flew home. And everything was fine.' I have to tell them, because I almost left them," Travis said. "That's a perfect day."
In the meantime, he has discovered a new coping tool that seems to be doing wonders for the former Meet the Barkers reality star. That would be breath work.
"It was life changing," he raved. "It's really up to you; there's no one else guiding you. Your soul is guiding you, and it guided me to my mom. It was like I was in a different world."
He continues to surround himself with the people that are most important to him, including kids Landon, 17, and Alabama, 15. He even admitted that he recently caught the teens on his security camera when they took his car out for a spin. When it comes to another significant person in his life, Travis declined to talk about his relationship with Kourtney Kardashian, noting, "I mean, it's everywhere."
As Travis reflected of his new life, "I have all the love I need in my house. It will never make sense why my friends are gone, or the pilots, but all I can do is carry on. I can't regret anything. I'm 100 percent supposed to be here."