Tag Archives: music drinking trigger

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.

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