Why, hello, music, I forgot about you

3 Nov

3:36 pm

Fragile. Remember that Sting song? LOVED it. LOVE it still. It’s on.

Yes, I’m listening to music for the first time–well, I’m exaggerating slightly–since getting sober. I got sober and, for reasons that were nebulous and that I’m just beginning to understand 17 months later, I stopped listening to music.

Maybe I wanted silence. Maybe I needed to focus; like, I couldn’t handle any amount of distraction, I had to work THAT hard at not giving into my incessant cravings. Maybe I needed, somehow, to be in my sober tomb–long enough so that I could be resurrected?

Man, I love music. I love all kinds. ALL kinds. I used to play classical piano–for 10 years. I tried guitar, and flute, and hand drums. I lugged my guitar all the way from the States, and it’s one of my few possessions down here (the rest are in storage). I mean, with all the sitting in front of my computer, pushing through such complicated subject matter, wouldn’t I at least need a break?

Why did I stop listening to music when I got sober? I think it was the effect it had on me, and all the emotions that it conjured. I just couldn’t handle being emotional. Even without wine, music can make me laugh, cry, rage–music can MAKE ME FEEL. When I got sober, everything carried an inordinate amount of weight: Oh, God, that’s the Tori Amos song I used to weep to while slumped over my laptop, drunk out of my mind; Oh, Lord, that’s the Damien Rice song I used to “dance” to when I was falling-down drunk; Oh, fuck, those are all the songs that I went out to, that I turned 30 to, that I relaxed to. That I came of age to, that I planned and dreamed to. That I fell in love to. That I worked and ate and slept to.

I was raw then, and I still feel a bit disturbed, I guess, in listening to music for too long. Like, I would never touch my Sade Pandora station unless I’m feeling 100 percent craving-free. There is an entire genre of music (trip hop) that reminds me so much of my mid- and late-20s that I can’t even bear to hear the first few chords of a lot of those songs. (I hope to get over this one day, because I really do love a lot of those songs.) I haven’t danced in my bedroom, so to speak, but twice since getting sober–once at a bar, to mostly 80s/new wave, and twice on my own next to my desk one afternoon to that stupidly catchy Daft Punk song, “Get Lucky.” (OK, chair and car dancing doesn’t count.)

Weird, because you’d think I’d WANT to release some of this pent-up emotion and energy. I don’t know. Maybe I’m one of those weirdos who needs to focus on the pain in order for it to go away–I know that AA did not work because I didn’t like the way talking about my drinking problem made it seem too uncontained, unmanageable, like a loose sail flapping all over the place in heavy winds.

It’s nice, though, to finally be able to turn it off and just zone out. Blur. Stop focusing. Let the outside world of sound IN. And, with that, I’m working it out.

11 Responses to “Why, hello, music, I forgot about you”

  1. furtheron November 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I can’t imagine being without music. A few days out of rehab I went to a gig. I didn’t drink I was scared!! However I learnt I enjoyed gigs more without alcohol!!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      I remember the first time I went alone to a show sober. It was painful, actually; I felt like I stood out SO much. But, yeah, I have listened to music, of course, since getting sober, but I seem to like the “quiet” or the “music” in my head more than outside stuff right now.

  2. bizi November 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    I am happy that you seem to have found a passion of yours renewed.
    happy for you!

  3. soberjournalist November 4, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    I can’t imagine not listening to music but I can understand why you didn’t. There are a couple of artists and albums on my ipod that I can’t stand to listen to now because they remind me of when I used to listen to music in the early hours of the morning, drunk and crying / talking to myself. Tragic behaviour. I am going to delete those tracks…

    • carrieonsober November 5, 2013 at 2:52 am #

      Guilty too of same tragic behaviour! I can (almost) laugh at it now 😉

      • Drunky Drunk Girl November 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

        I know, right? It IS sort of funny…

      • carrieonsober November 7, 2013 at 10:50 am #

        You know you’re getting somewhere when you can laugh about it!

  4. carrieonsober November 5, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    Music helps me to temporarily escape to another place in my mind and it’s free and there are no regrets (being outed for my playlist of cheesy music might count as a regret!) I am happy to hear you are in a good place, thrilled. Dancing on a chair, with a hairbrush, is the best therapy!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Thank you! Yes, dancing is GREAT therapy!

      And, yes, getting into a MUCH better place these days–feeling renewed, focused, and probably more than anything, like I don’t have to be the best, I just have to be. I don’t have to do more than enough, I just have to do enough. That’s my big revelation these days, and it’s really helped me to Turn It Off and have some fun and let it go…

  5. Katherine November 5, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I thought I was the only one who had that experience with music! wow…glad to know it’s not just me. When I hear an old song that I used to listen to on my i-pod while drinking, I flashback to the emotions I was feeling and it’s not good. I was a crazy loon, depressed out of my mind and lost, so very lost in a funk. I never feel the need to escape with earbuds in and listening to angry AC/DC or sappy country music anymore. I put down the wine glass and the i-pod. Actually I packed away the crystal wine glasses from the china cabinet and put out my grandmother’s tea pots/cups for display/use. Oh and funny thing…my i-pod died…it won’t take a charge anymore…I was secretly happy about this! I do love listening to Jason Mraz tunes now. Cheesy music…but good messages in his songs. Hugs!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      Haha, I love this comment! It’s amazing how music can affect us emotionally, and how old emotion is always being renewed, it seems. Thanks for this! Hugs right back atcha! xx

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