I have relapsed once since getting sober a little over a year ago, and I never, ever want to go through that again. All of the agonies of addiction replayed themselves along with the addition of a new album called guilt.
Some say relapse is normal. Others say it is simply a sign that you are not ready to get sober.
While I did not see anything positive about my relapse, I also didn’t want to think that my situation was totally hopeless, that I was totally hopeless. I am only 27, and I was terrified of living out the rest of my days as an addict. I was equally terrified of dying like one.
The days droned on, and I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was out of money and almost out of drugs. I was looking for a distraction and switched on the stereo. “Not Afraid” by Eminem was on, and it was right at the beginning where he says, “you’ve been down the same road…”
I remember sarcastically thinking, “Yeah, I’m going down the same road, alright. Another dead end.”
But the lyrics continued, “Now some of you might still be in that place…”
I was caught by the hook, and I kept listening. I suddenly remembered one of the stay sober tools I learned in rehab, to keep a journal. It seemed to work for awhile, but it was so one-sided; there was no feedback. But the song was giving me feedback. What if I had a collection of songs like this?
So I started downloading songs that spoke to me, and I currently have 68 titles in my relapse collection.
“Not Afraid” remains number one on my top ten list. Here are the other nine:
1. Starting Over – Macklemore
Remember when “Thrift Shop” came out? Everybody was playing it, and everyone knew his name. Then he disappeared. Starting Over reminds me that addiction is the great equalizer. It doesn’t care who we are.
2. Save Me – Shinedown
It was as simple as “take away all these pills”. For a long time, I felt like my addiction to prescription painkillers should have been easier to beat than street drugs. It was good to be wrong.
3. Sober – Pink
Active addiction makes you so needy. I don’t want to be needy anymore. I am stronger than that.
4. It’s Been Awhile – Staind
I’m always going to be addicted. I must accept that. Then I can continue to love myself enough to stay sober.
5. Fallen – Sarah McLachlan
People, places, and things. I need real friends not party friends.
6. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
She thought rehab wouldn’t help her just because it didn’t work the first time. It cost her her life. I won’t let it cost me mine.
7. Going Through Changes – Eminem
No one can stay sober on their own. It’s okay to ask for help.
8. One Day at a Time – Joe Walsh
Yesterday is past and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Each day is enough to handle. Why would I want to take on more than that?
9. My Deliverer – Mandisa
I am not doing this alone. Whenever things get too hard, I can hand it all over to my higher power, and He will strengthen me in return.
Some say relapse actually defines your recovery, because it puts everything into context for you so that you can really appreciate your journey to sobriety. I suppose that’s why there are so many songs written about addiction. There is a lot of hope and strength in those numbers.
The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California. To talk to us about treatment options at our affordable drug and alcohol rehab that fit your needs, call (844) 494-4939.