Losing A Whole Year. 


"Welcome back, Mr. Marquez," were the words that were uttered to me as I came to in the Intensive Care Unit.

I asked the nurse what she meant. She replied that I had to have emergency surgery to remove three feet of intestines.

Losing a whole year. I remember you and me used to spend the whole goddamned day in bed.  Losing a whole year.

During the surgery, I flatlined.  I was revived, but I was in a coma for 2 weeks. When I came out of the coma, I was shocked but relieved. Then I looked down at my stomach and the pain kicked in! 

"How many times has my heart flatlined?" 

It was 2012, and I had ballooned up to 260 pounds. Basically, I had completely let myself go which led to my appendix bursting and various complications that almost took my life.

Art By Ericca Smith Photo: Courtesy.

My daughter was only 2 years old and I knew I needed to be there for her. This was my rebirth. I knew that God was giving me a second chance at life. 

After 3 months in the Intensive Care Unit and then 3 more months in a rehabilitation unit, I was finally released.  I couldn’t even walk.  The beginning of a whole damn year to recovery.  When I finally came home, the first thing I did was put on Out of the Vein. I felt like I had been gone for an eternity. 

I knew it needed to be the first album I listened to after my ordeal. It is my favorite album. It brought up a lot of memories for me, both good and bad. I remember thinking that I had to fight this and get well. 

My recovery from the intestine removal was an arduous and rewarding process. I went from being unable to even open a bottle of water to exercising 5 days a week. I changed my diet and became a vegetarian.  I will live every day in pain due to scar tissue but I am grateful to be alive.

"I've never been so alone and I've never been so alive." 

The first time I saw Third Eye Blind was in October 1997. I was just out of high school and my girlfriend Britney was in love with Stephan (as most girls are). I had only heard “Semi-Charmed Life” and  “How’s It Going To Be.”  I stood in line for 8 hours that day so Britney could be up front in the pit and get a good look at Stephan.  I left that show a bigger fan than she was! They played the entire Third Eye Blind album. I was blown away! I remember distinctly buying that album the very next morning with my ears still ringing from the show the night before.  Third Eye Blind was always "our" band. Britney and I bought Blue and Out of the Vein the very first day they came out. Britney and I went back and forth until we broke up in 2007. I wouldn't see her again until 2012 when I was rushed into the E.R. with severe stomach pains.  I was being wheeled in from the ambulance and I saw Britney walking beside me. I couldn't believe that she was my nurse that night.  As I look back, I see that she was a Godsend.  Britney made sure I got immediate attention. Britney and I remain friends to this day.  Every time I listen to "Losing a Whole Year" I think of Britney.

When Dopamine was released I was going through a break up with my daughter’s mother.   The emotional pain of watching her and my daughter move out made the scar pain feel like a cake walk.  When I heard “Everything is Easy” for the first time I cried couldn't stop. I felt like they were singing songs for me. “Back to Zero” and “Dopamine” blew me away.  I can’t believe that almost 20 years after first seeing this band they are better than ever.

This past summer I was ordered to bed rest due to further complications.  I could communicate with Stephan through Twitter and he always responded to me.  The role he and his lyrics have played in my life can't be measured. I hope I can tell him that one day.

Third Eye Blind created the soundtrack to my whole adult life! When I'm down, I listen.  When I'm happy, I listen.  When I work out, I listen.  When I go to bed, I listen.

"Until she leaves you alone and then you're soaked to the bone you'll be sore." 

Art Marques and Daughter Zoii Rose, 3EB KIDS

I've been lucky enough to meet some fellow fans and see the passion and unity that this band brings to all of us.  You don’t attend a Third Eye Blind show - the show become part of you. 
I will be seeing Third Eye Blind this summer in Berkeley.  I'm sure it will be an amazingly emotional event. Britney will pop in my head at some point.

Stephan’s lyrics and my determination enabled me to make a full recovery and live a normal life.

I owe God, my daughter, all of my family, my friends, and this band a debt of gratitude.
I have a 12-inch scar that goes down my tummy and I'm proud of it.  I look at it every day and it reminds me to never take anything for granted.  Each day is a blessing. Even my worst days are okay because I'm still here. 

"I'm gonna leave no doubt, I’m gonna zero you out."

This is my first time writing about my ordeal.

I hope someone who is down can read this and know that they are not alone. Keep fighting and keep pushing. In life you will fall, that is certain. You may have to pick yourself backup. That when you reach deep down and find your inspiration.  Be strong and fight.

My daughter Zoii Rose just turned seven years old this month.  She is the light of my life and I believe my angel. I fought so hard for that little girl. She is my heart and she loves Third Eye Blind.  It feels like I'm passing the torch to her. I can’t wait to go to a show with her and tell her the story.

Third Eye Blind reminds me of how much I’ve grown and changed.  Compared to that guy that almost died, I've become a man, a father, and a friend that I'm proud of.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I can’t wait to see your smiling faces in Berkeley. 

3EB LIFESTYLE: Thanks Art Marquez for being a part of the #20YEARSINTHEBLIND Tribute to Third Eye Blind. Please Share Your Comments With Art In the Comments Box Below.