Friday, November 11, 2011

The Soundtrack of My Sobriety

Sometimes a song says what we cannot or will not. 

A single chord, often times a single note is enough to produce a flood of emotion, stir a long forgotten memory or shift an entire point of view.

Below are seven songs that have inspired, sustained and carried me....

Prayer For The Dying - Seal 
This is one of the most powerful pieces of music I have ever experienced. The lyrics pierce my soul - "I may not know what you are going through, but time is the space between me and you." In 2005, I started a downward spiral into the depths of undiagnosed bipolar disorder that would . My then significant other, Jeremy, who had never had someone close in his life with mental illness, said "I don't know what you are going through, but I am here for you." When I listen to this song, it reminds me of that time, when I knew for the first time I was not alone.

Nothing Really Matters - Madonna 
Logically, this is not a song that I would relate to recovery and sobriety, but logic has not always been at the center of my life. This song taught me that wisdom can come from unlikely sources - like the lyrics of a Madonna song. The line that speaks to me most is "Nothing really matters. Love is all we need. Everything I give you. All comes back to me." The rest of the equally profound lyrics can be found here

Let It Bet - The Beatles 
Could there be better advice about turning it over to your Higher Power and asking for help? 

Many times I have recited the lyrics in prayer and have found great comfort and peace. 

Invariably, the answer to what I am seeking comes when I just let it be. 

Run On (God's Gonna Cut You Down) - Johnny Cash
Lyrics here.

Further comment is not required. 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole
Sometimes a voice and a song collide and you are never the same. 

Such it was when I heard Iz's cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. 

This song is an icon of American culture. 

That reality coupled with the yearning and anguish implied in the lyrics of the song are enough to carry me to where I wish I could be. 

A hymn to Elsewhere...

Hazy Shades of Winter - The Bangles
This song is everything.

Whenever I listen to it, I hear what I need. 

Resolve, sadness, despair, anger, awakening, strength. 

The Catalyst - Linkin Park 
I heard this song last year when I was in a very dark place and while it did not immediately hit me, I liked it...sort of. 

Only recently have I read the lyrics and realized it is me on many levels. 

"God save us everyone/Will we burn inside the fires of a thousand suns/For the sins of our hands/The sins of our tongues"

Be  well, do good work and keep in touch. 

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