It took a doctor's diagnosis to jar his life into focus. Just in time for the 28-year-old to learn he was dying.
Skow's alcoholism and drug addiction ravaged his liver and led to weeks of hospitalization to treat acute alcoholic hepatitis and kidney failure. One estimate gave him an 18 percent chance of survival if he didn't get a liver transplant within 30 days.
But in order to be eligible for a liver transplant at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Skow would have to be six months sober.
Entering at a healthy 165 pounds, Skow left the hospital weighing just 140 - the skeletal remainder of a human being bombarded with medical interventions.
Skow immediately went into withdrawal, suffering from grossly enlarged veins in his neck called esophageal varices. His mind careened in and out of hallucinations.
"I had no fight in me," he says, recalling how he would beg his father to take him back to the hospital for a shot of the drugs he now craved.
He ended up tucking himself away in the mountains of his family home in Tehachapi - a space he also shared with his three dogs.