Ok, I’ve always been a person in love with music. This was re-enforced when I spent so many years in my teens & early 20’s as a “band wife”. (I’ll admit it: I had moments when I thought I was THE sh*t.) It was in the 80’s, so I know it dates me, but I don’t think I’d have wanted to miss out on the spandex & Aqua Net for ANYTHING. \m/ (cue “Quiet Riot” Bang Your Head) 😉
Anyway, a little more than a decade after that period is when I crawled into the Rooms of recovery. They told me I only had to change one thing (everything) , so that included music.
As a young child, I was fed the Beatles, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jim Croce, Carol King, and the other biggies from that era as a steady diet. I will always hold a place in my heart for them, as they take me back to the time before my parent’s divorce. Back to when life was, at least, predictable.
Then toward the climax of my carousing days, I remember Bob Seger, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Prince (still love that man), and most of the late 80’s post hair-band groups.
When I got clean & sober, I became aware of what my potential triggers were, and the (bar) music was a HUGE trigger. I had previously spent a LOT of time in bars. My bff and I knew where to go for “ladies night” for at least 5 nights a week, and of course the bar was always the quickest place to cop some dope – whatever you prefer, so, yeah. Heck, my bff & I MET at a Ladies Night. I remember when Barfly (movie with Mickey Roarke?) came out & we all loved it. It was pretty accurate. Now I think it would be pretty depressing to me.
So, once I began getting sober, I eventually cut out all of the tunes I’d gotten drunk and danced (that’s both sad and funny, but I won’t go into it now) to, and for a minute, I was kind of lost. The secret to getting a grip on early sobriety, for me, was to never remove something (dangerous) without replacing it with something at least neutral, and preferably positive. I think I initially went back to the music of my pre-self-medicating days. If the radio was playing in the car – when was it NOT??- I kept my guard up for any “old drinking songs”. Pretty simple cure: change the station. Stay out of bars (sometimes people think they can go there & get healthy. I’m not aware of ANYONE who was successful in recovery using this tactic. If you do, please let me know!), and if you’re with people who don’t care about triggering you, maybe change your friends.
After a few years in the Rooms, I started working on a new relationship with the God of my understanding, and nowadays I play only “positive encouraging” (KLOVE) stuff. It really does encourage me, and it gives me healthy and productive things to think about, in contrast to the things the other music bombarded me with, like…well, basically, that old lifestyle.
Music has been a backdrop for my entire life. While the speed amd tempo has varied, the subject matter of what I feed my mind, as I live a clean & sober life, has adjusted accordingly.
Someone smarter than me once said “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” To a large degree, that works for music too. Play me what you’re feeding your mind and spirit, and I’ll tell you about your future with mind-boggling accuracy. (It boggles my mind, anyway, and I’ve seen it play out in relapse after relapse.)
If you live long enough to get a few years in recovery, I daresay that you’ll be able to tell newcomers what their likely future will be.
So, to my best recollection, that’s my Early Recovery Music story, and I’m stickin to it.