Category: Songs to Live By


In my last post, I borrowed the words from an old hymn to use in a metaphor for ‘the will to recover’.

I wanted to highlight(no pun intended) the importance of keeping that will alive, making it flare up and then harnessing it to use as a source of power and light as we progress on the dark journey towards recovery.

Not easy when the illness or addiction is playing King in your mind and all will and all incentive is laid prostrate before it, bent and unable to muster so much as a whisper of it’s own volition.

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Anyway, as I thought about my last post, I was nagged by the thought that it’s all well and good writing about keeping our oil topped up; keeping our willpower alive; maintaining the hope for recovery and keeping that spark that drives us clear and strong…

but

what IS the oil…  and WHERE do we GET it from?

I started to question how I fuel the drive towards recovery, and wondered what I needed to use more of.

And I came up with these:

  • Prayer

  • Mindfulness exercises I was taught in hospitallight-tunnel-01-220x130

  • my family

  • friends who are ahead of me on the journey back to a future that looks something near normal

  • allowing myself to risk dreaming of what ‘could’ be…

  • Music – Particularly songs with lyrics which inspire me

It might (or might not) be useful to think of things to turn to as sources of power when you feel like your will to make it is running dry…

I wondered, if it’s not too personal,  if anyone had any that they would share?

You never know, your oil could help to fuel someone else.

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I’m not talking about mashed up romantic ‘my-partner-your-partner’ kind of love. That’s all well and good (says terminally single she). I’m talking about a different kind of love; a love that I believe we all have a capacity for, were even designed for. It’s a love that transcends all our cognitive understanding, our hypotheses, theologies and ideologies. It bypasses our intellect, supersedes multiple intelligences and burns through the layers of tired, grey matter. It’s a love which, although at its most visible in the natural world, isn’t tangible or describable. It can be found in every ‘in between’. In between the Redwoods’ leaves, the freesias’ flowers,  the sea and the horizon, the Oaks’  branches, mountain passes… It’s in every shade of beauty. It’s that which we feel when we glimpse a bigger world and a small, silent surge of power waves through us.

In recovery, we need to begin to acknowledge that we are not the world. We are a tiny but vital part of something much, much bigger. AA talk about the importance of connecting with a ‘Higher Power’. I don’t know a whole lot about the 12 step recovery method, but I do know that it has worked for literally tens of thousands, so if you are one of those who is reading this whilst thinking that it would never work for you, please, take a moment to wonder why you would be such an impossible case.

In any type of recovery, I think it is essential to find this deeper love, and even if you don’t feel it, to know that it is there. It exists. It is a possibility.

Paul Brandt sings a song about addiction and about how ‘love will find you’. I call it ‘God’. Call it whatever, there is a love that will follow you down the deepest pit, the darkest tunnel, the weariest and most broken depth of human experience.  Folded up tightly within that love, is a hope that things could get better. Doesn’t matter ‘how’, just that it is possible.  If you are feeling that you’re in that unreachable place, where despair and darkness seem the only things ahead, listen to the words of this song and hold on… There is hope, even if you can’t see it or feel it. KNOW that it is there and you will be found by love.

Hold on. Love will find you.