He survived a plane crash, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and battled addiction for years. But sober and healthy today, Travis Barker tells PEOPLE, “I’m not suffering from any of the demons that I had.”
The Blink-182 rocker, 39 – who chronicles his struggles in his new memoir, Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums, on shelves now – says he credits two things for his road to sobriety: fatherhood and music.
“My kids are my everything. They were a huge part of my recovery. They are my everything. I don’t event want to think about my life without them,” says Barker of son Landon, 12, and daughter Alabama, 9, his children with ex Shanna Moakler.
The drummer struggled with substance abuse (including painkillers like OxyContin) throughout his career, but he began to turn his life around after tragedy struck: In 2008, he was in a plane crash that killed four and left him with burns on 65 percent of his body and a whole slew of new problems, from survivor’s guilt to PTSD. Then a year later, he lost one of his best friends (and fellow crash survivor), DJ AM (Adam Goldstein), to an overdose.
Barker says that without a strong support system and his passion for percussion, he wouldn’t be who he is now.
“After my plane crashed, I fell back in love with the drums, and it was music that saved me,” he says. “Music and my kids – that was all very, very, very key in having a healthy recovery and being who I am today.”
With his book’s release, Barker hopes it’ll be a beacon of hope for others battling similar demons.
“I hope I can be a positive role model. I am sober now, and I’m not on a bunch of drugs and medication. I feel great.”
For more on Travis Barker, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.