He is paraphrased in the article, which reads that one day, he would like to get on a plane again. It also reads that he has a pact in place with someone very close to him. They’ll give him 24 hours notice to pack his bags, and he will be picked up to be taken to the airport. He will know what it is for.
“There’s a million things that could happen to me,” he said.
“I could die riding my skateboard. I could get in a car accident. I could get shot. Anything could happen. I could have a brain aneurysm and die. So why should I still be afraid of airplanes?”
Should his plan go ahead, it will be the first time Barker has boarded a plane since 2008. Barker is currently the lone survivor in the plane crash that killed both pilots, Barker’s assistant Chris Baker and his security guard Charles “Che” Still. Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein, Barker’s best friend and a fellow performer, also survived the crash, however he passed away a year later from a drug overdose.
In the interview, he speaks on his relationship with AM, citing that after the event, “we were each other’s therapists.”
They tried to find support networks for people who had survived something like they had, but found that they only really existed for those who had lost loved ones in similar circumstances.
“So it was just him and me. When he left, I was like, ‘Oh, fuck. I’m the only one in my club. It’s just me.’ And I find my ways to deal with it.”
He speaks on his experiences with drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, with managing both becoming central themes to the interview.
Barker spoke candidly of his drug taking habits, where prior to the crash, he would smoke “an excessive amount of weed” and due to his life-long fear of flying, his painkiller habit too.
“People are always like, ‘Did you go to rehab?’ ” Barker says. “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.”
Post-crash, his experience with PTSD was overwhelming for months. He said he did three months of therapy afterwards to deal with the survivors guilt and the PTSD.
“I was dark,” he says. “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.”
“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.”
According to Barker, it’s his hope of overcoming his fear and coming home to his kids at the end of the day that keeps him going. “That’s a perfect day,” he said.