Category Archives: Recovery through Media

Robyn’s daily choice of media from inspirational music, books or videos. Check out the Facebook page for daily memes and other updates!
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Let Go by RAC

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Here’s the perfect recovery song for today! Its an upbeat song from RAC featuring Kele and MNDR with great lyrics reminding us to let go and “try, just try to stay sober!”

Lyrics:

(Oh)

(You are golden, you are pure)

[Verse 1 – Kele]
Tell me, tell me, tell me your problems
I’m here for you
Just try, just try, just try to stay sober
It’s eating you
And they say you are a monster, but what I see’s a child
Your eyes, your eyes are glowing red
And your tongue has caught on fire

(You are golden, you are pure)

[Hook – MNDR]
So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ‘til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

(Oh)

[Verse 2 – Kele]
You play, you play, you play up to them
But they’re not around
Don’t be, don’t be so rough with me
When you are a gem

[Bridge]
And they ask how I can love you, when all they see is this
But I see the things that you can’t contain and what it does to you

[Chorus – MNDR]

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ‘til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

Let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ‘til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

(Oh)

(You are golden, you are pure)

[Chorus]

(Oh)

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Keep it Up by Blackbird Blackbird

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Here’s a sweet mellow song from Blackbird Blackbird for you to listen to. With a beautiful melody and mesmerizing beat you’ll be reminded to “keep it up:” your spirit, your attitude and your recovery.

Must Read: Fall to Pieces, A Memoir of Drugs, Rock’n’Roll and Mental Illness by Mary Porsberg

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FallToPieces

Synopsis:

In March 2007, twenty-four hours after Mary Weiland dragged her husband Scott’s pricey rock-star wardrobe onto their driveway and torched it, she was locked up in a mental hospital. Watching all this were her frightened extended family, a conflicted husband wrestling with demons of his own, and a tabloid industry gone gleeful at the “Bonfire in Toluca Lake!”
To the outside world, Weiland had led what seemed to be an enviable life. A successful international model in the nineties, she married her longtime sweetheart—famed lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and, later, Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland—in 2000. Mary was the sane one, went the story—it was the tempestuous, unpredictable Scott who was crazy. In her gripping memoir Fall to Pieces, Mary Weiland reveals that the truth is somewhere in between.

From her earliest days in San Diego, Weiland displayed signs of trouble: a black depression that sometimes left her immobile for days, a temper that sent her into wild rages she didn’t understand, an overdose. But her fierce determination to “have more” led to early success as a model. At sixteen, she fell in love at first sight with Scott Weiland, then an aspiring musician who was hired to drive her to and from modeling gigs. Slowly, her casual relationship with beer and pot grew into an affair with cocaine and heroin that rivaled her love for Scott, who was addicted as well. From rehab to rehab, from breakup to reconciliation to eventual marriage, the couple fought their way back, welcomed the babies they’d dreamed of, and hoped their struggles were behind them. Then came the bonfire breakdown and the full onset of Mary’s bipolar disorder, a widely misunderstood and misdiagnosed mental illness that affects more than five million Americans and had been, in fact, stalking Mary Weiland since her teens.

With refreshing candor, innate comic timing, and earned wisdom, Weiland recounts the extreme highs and lows of her life, including an unforgettable love affair with the man she always knew she’d marry, the careers and rock tours that took them around the world, and her fight to finally come to grips with the addictions that could have killed her. In her journey to understand and manage her bipolar disorder, she takes the reader on a wild ride into the dark and back into the light

Must Watch: The Secret

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“This is a great movie that most everyone has probably seen at one point or another. The reason it is so popular is because its inspiring and so true. Thousands of people around the world have been to take the information in this film and transform their lives, so why can’t you?” -Robyn

The Secret has existed throughout the history of humankind. It has been discovered, coveted, suppressed, hidden, lost, and recovered. It has been hunted down, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money.

Fragments of The Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries.

A number of exceptional men and women discovered The Secret, and went on to become known as the greatest people who ever lived. Among them: Plato, Leonardo, Galileo, Napoleon, Hugo, Beethoven, Lincoln, Edison, Einstein and Carnegie, to name but a few.

Now for the first time in history, all the pieces of The Secret come together in a revelation that is life transforming for all who experience it. In The Secret film and her book of the same name, Rhonda Byrne presents teachers alive today who impart this special wisdom that has been known by so few. They include some of the world’s leaders in the fields of business, economics, medicine, psychology, history, theology and science.

‘Miracle Man’ Morris Goodman tells his awe-inspiring story of how he recovered from paralysis by using The Secret. Dr. Denis Waitley explains how he used various aspects of The Secret in training Olympic athletes and Apollo astronauts to reach new heights of human endeavor. Doctors in the fields of medicine and quantum physics explain the science behind The Secret. Best selling authors and philosophers explain how they have created lives of phenomenal success using The Secret.

The Secret reveals amazing real life stories and testimonials of regular people who have changed their lives in profound ways. By applying The Secret they present instances of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

The Secret shows how to apply this powerful knowledge to your life in every area from health to wealth, to success and relationships.

The Secret is everything you have dreamed of… and now it’s in your hands.

Gotta Cheer Up by Cotton Jones

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We know that we create our reality and can chose to be happy within every moment of our lives. Of course, that can be an incredibly hard emotion to maintain but if we can just think to “cheer up now” in the times we feel ourselves getting down, maybe we can create a more positive outlook for the rest of our day!

Lyrics:

All the colors of your heart
All the whistle in the park
Children swimming through the spark
I was hooding around, in a sea of sound

All the trumpets play whoa whoa

I got to cheer up now
Gotta cheer up now (repeats)
All night I want morning light (repeats)

Shake it Out by Florence and the Machine

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If your ready for a real recovery song, than this is it. Not only does Florence and the Machine have an incredibly strong vocalist but they have an incredibly strong message with this song. Seriously, just read the lyrics while giving the song a listen and you’ll know what I mean. My favourite line is, “And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t. So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my rope And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope. It’s a shot in the dark aimed right up my throat Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me.” I interpret this as the struggle we face when we first try putting down that drink or drug. Then coming to the realization that it’ll never get better if we don’t give ourselves a chance. There will be downs but we must look for hope because looking for something as good as that first high only brought these tears, these fears, into our lives.

Lyrics:

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around
All of his questions, such a mournful sound
But tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaaah!
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, ooh woah!

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, ooh woah!
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back

And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but its left me so undone
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Oh woah, oh woah!

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my rope
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark aimed right up my throat
Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me, ohh

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, ooh woah!

x2

 

Flaws by Bastille

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We are reminded of our character defects everyday as we catch ourselves falling into the same habits of self-centeredness, jealousy and procrastination. This song lets us know that these flaws may be apart of us, but we can let them go. We can finish what we’ve started and leave no stone unturned as we work our way through the steps. 

Lyrics:
When all of your flaws and all of my flaws
Are laid out one by one
A wonderful part of the mess that we made
We pick ourselves undone

All of your flaws and all of my flaws
They lie there hand in hand
Ones we’ve inherited, ones that we learned
They pass from man to man

There’s a hole in my soul
I can’t fill it I can’t fill it
There’s a hole in my soul
Can you fill it? Can you fill it?

You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground
Dig them up; let’s finish what we’ve started
Dig them up, so nothing’s left unturned

All of your flaws and all of my flaws,
When they have been exhumed
We’ll see that we need them to be who we are
Without them we’d be doomed

x2

Must Read: Junky by William Burroughs

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“This is an incredible book, no matter how ‘outdated’ it may be. Written about a man, Burroughs, in the 1950’s who is struggling with a growing addiction to junk (aka heroin). Its fascinating to read about how addiction was in an era way past our own; to see the differences, the similarities and the history of the never endearing struggle with substance abuse. The review below from TheDailyBeast.com sums it all rather well, enjoy!” -Robyn

Junky by William S Burroughs

In 1953, while Joseph McCarthy was hunting for communists in the highest ranks of the federal government, an Arkansan congressman named Ezekiel C. Gathings was conducting his own witch hunt. His target was the paperback-book industry. He argued that pulp fiction had “largely degenerated into media for the dissemination of appeals to sensuality, immorality, filth, perversion, and degeneracy.” Of particular interest to Gathings were novels about drug abusers, a class of American society nearly as reviled as communists. At the time, as Allen Ginsberg later wrote, there was a sense “that if you talked about ‘tea’ (much less Junk) on the bus or subway, you might be arrested—even if you were only discussing a change in the law.” The publication of a pulp novel named Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict, by the pseudonymous William Lee, was therefore a welcome surprise. It sold 100,000 copies in its first six months. American readers wanted what “Lee” was pushing.

Lee was William S. Burroughs, Harvard graduate and heir to the Burroughs Adding Machine fortune. Burroughs’s inheritance left the young scion free to pursue education and drugs at his leisure. He first took up anthropology, at both Harvard and later Mexico City College; then medicine, in Vienna; and finally heroin. Heroin stuck. Junky—as his novel is now known—combines all these interests. Unlike Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (also published in 1953), Junky eschews allegory for scrupulous realism. The approach is journalistic, pedagogical, often clinical, bearing little resemblance to novels for which Burroughs is now better remembered, like Naked Lunch and Nova Express. Although Bill, Junky’s narrator, mentions reading Oscar Wilde, Anatole France, Baudelaire, and Gide as a young boy, the tone owes more to Franz Boas and Margaret Mead. Junky is Bill’s life story, but only in a sense, for he discusses only the parts of his life that relate to junk. The story follows the development of his addiction, his attempts to quit, and his travels in search of cheaper, better drugs. Along the way we meet a largely interchangeable cast of dealers, users, thieves, and con artists. More than anything else, Junky reads like a field guide to the American underworld.

“Junk,” we learn, refers to opium and its derivatives: morphine, heroin, pantopon, Dilaudid, codeine. But it is much more than that. Junk, he says, “is a way of life.” And it’s an expensive one at that. A heroin addiction in 1953 cost about $15 a day, or the equivalent of $125 in today’s dollars. Junkies have their own look (emaciated, haunted, sallow) and their own junk names: Doolie, Cash, and Dupré. Junk has its own dialect. A user who robs drunks on the subway to support his habit is a “lush-worker”; a junkie’s eyedropper, spoon, and hypodermic needle constitute his “works”; doctors are “croakers.” The easiest way to convince a croaker to write a “script” for morphine is to fake gallstones or kidney stones. If those excuses fail, try facial neuralgia.

Heroin addiction takes patience and dedication. Burroughs estimates that you need a year and several hundred injections to develop a habit. An addict does not use heroin to get a thrill—never does Bill experience joy from heroin. A junkie uses only to avoid junk sickness, otherwise known as withdrawal. Junk sickness is like a hangover mixed with burning alive and a parasitic infestation: “I felt a cold burn over the whole surface of my body as though the skin was one solid hive. It seemed like ants were crawling under the skin.” There is also vomiting, diarrhea, violent sneezing fits, loss of breath, lowering of blood pressure, and extreme weakness. Bill feels a sensation like “subsiding into a pile of bones.” This condition might conceivably be manageable were it to last for 12 or 24 hours. But junk sickness tends to last 8 days.

There are cures for addiction, but they tend not to last. Not because the cures are ineffective; they are effective, particularly the incremental “Chinese cure,” which Bill uses, a gradual weaning that involves replacing the drug with increasing doses of Wampole’s Tonic. Bill stays sober for many months at a time. But he always returns to the junk—out of boredom.

Here lies the novel’s core perversity. The main reason the junkie does heroin, despite its horrors and despair, is because it’s better than the alternative: not doing heroin. It is better to be a junkie than to end up what Burroughs might have been, had he followed in his family’s line. The life of an “American business man,” he writes, “is a one-way process. When his organism reaches maturity it can only start dying.”

A junkie, on the other hand, exists in a state of constant physical emergency. With every hit, a junkie dies; as the drug’s effects dissipate, he is reborn. “Junk,” writes Burroughs at last, in the cleanest expression of the novel’s thesis, “is an inoculation of death.” It is total negation. “Perhaps the intense discomfort of withdrawal is the transition … from a painless, sexless, timeless state back to sex and pain and time, from death back to life.” The junkie knows life because he has an intimate knowledge of death. That is another way of saying that the junkie, unlike our “American business man,” knows himself.

But Burroughs is after something more than self-realization. Junky is not, after all, a memoir, a fact underscored by his cursory treatment of even the most basic biographical information. Bill’s wife, oddly, is introduced for the first time—and even then only in passing, by another character—more than halfway through the novel. His children are mentioned once, 50 pages later, in a single mysterious sentence: “My wife was in Acapulco with the children.” Junk leaves no room for family, jobs, or relationships other than those organized around the procurement and enjoyment of junk.

Near the end of the novel Bill moves to Mexico. He has plans to flee even farther away, deep into South America. The expat junkies he meets during his travels confirm his worst fears about his native country. McCarthy’s paranoia has infected America, which has entered “a state of complete chaos where you never know who is who or where you stand.” The junkie is grateful for his junk. At least he will always know exactly where he stands—even if he doesn’t know where he’ll end up.

Bulletproof by La Roux

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For some of us, this isn’t our first time at sobriety. We’ve put down the drugs or drinks over and over again, promising it was our last. We’ve been in and out of rehabs so much that the counselors have become like family. We’ve collected so many key tags and coins that we could probably supply a whole room full of newly recovery addicts… But this time it’s different. We can’t exactly tell why at the moment, but we know. This time, we’re bulletproof.

Lyrics:

Been there, done that messed around
I’m having fun, don’t put me down
I’ll never let you sweep me off my feet

I won’t let you win again
The messages I tried to send
My information’s just not going in

Burning bridges shore to shore
I break away from something more
I’m not turned on to love until it’s cheap

Been there, done that messed around
I’m having fun, don’t put me down
I’ll never let you sweep me off my feet

This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof
This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof

I won’t let you turn around
And tell me now, I’m much too proud
To walk away from something when it’s dead

Do, do, do your dirty words
Come out to play when you are hurt?
There’s certain things that should be left unsaid

Tick, tick, tick, tick on the watch
And life’s too short for me to stop
Oh baby, your time is running out

I won’t let you turn around
And tell me now I’m much too proud
All you do is fill me up with doubt

This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof (repeat)

Where We Belong by Passion Pit

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This is another one of those songs you might just want to bob your head to. It is also very thought-provoking, asking questions I’ve found myself asking frequently in recovery. Does God exist? According to Passion Pit, you got to believe. Also note the other great lines such as ‘cowards never say ‘enough is enough,” and ‘all the things you can’t control should never destroy your love or hopes.’

Lyrics:

It’s gotten cold in here,
But a solemn warmth draws near
And with a gentle touch,
All these burdens and such fears are wiped clear

Who says you are to stay?
How’s this the easier way?
It’s far from giving up,
Cowards never say “enough is enough”

And then I’m lifted up,
Out of the crimson towel
The bath begins to drain
And from the floor he prays away all my pain

Who says that God exists?
We can’t see icons or myths, but
I believe in you,
Do you believe in me too?
Gabrielle

All the things you can’t control
Should never destroy your love or hopes
I found a place, I found a place,
I found a place where we belong

Never did I think that I’d believe they took away his crown
Never did I ever think I’d find all of the things I’ve found
It’s hard to keep on living where your heart is but I knew you’d help
All I’ve ever wanted was to be happy and make you proud