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Addiction and Relationships: Why I Love Music For Self-Care


“Some days I need the music and some days I need the lyrics.”-Unknown


You’re probably wondering why there’s a picture of Taylor Swift here.

It’s a fair question, and I’m sure by the title of this you probably know where this is going so let me begin.


It’s a still from the music video of her song Out Of The Woods, which came out a few years ago on her 1989 album and was very popular at the time of its release.


But the reason I’m including it here right now is because the theme of the song has been referenced by me (even if just mentally to myself) a lot since it’s been out.

“Are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear yet? Good.”


So many times I’ve wondered this same thing to myself relating to his recovery.


Is this it? Is it over? Are we done with the rehab stays and fear over his life?


And so many times I’ve listened to this song and related to its lyrics.


See, music is just one of the many things you can use for yourself and your recovery. Sometimes it’s relating to lyrics, sometimes it’s helpful to know that others have gone through feelings you have and experiences resembling yours, and sometimes it’s inspiring to see that people have turned their stories into art and a message to others.


But I’ll admit, on the flip side it’s also fun to lose yourself in a karaoke session to relieve some stress and heartache. Or, you know, sob uncontrollably while pretending you’re in a music video.


Self care.


Alternatively, it’s also fun to use music in other ways.

I’ll stick with Taylor Swift for now but it should go without saying that it can apply to whatever artist or genre you relate with.


She recently came out with a new album called Lover that chronicles her most recent era of life, most importantly with her current partner and how she’s learned to love herself and handle her new relationship with a freshly discovered maturity and responsibility. It also explores how she loves, and how she is continuing to be pretty unafraid and open to showing her affection musically, as she does.


And I can take a lot of that to heart.


For years I have been more closed off and unsure of my relationship, and that translated into everyone else being that way, too. I was embarrassed even when things were well, and to this day it’s still hard to be affectionate and bold in how I show my love.


But for each feeling I have I know there is a song for it, and as things continue on this upward climb I rely more on the music around me to find out where it is I want to find my groove to be and how to discover more about myself that I want to uncover.


All those feelings of adoration and closeness have survived and are still there, and if I want to continue to have the strong and surviving relationship I envision and am beginning to have, it’s up to me to of course do the self work and mastery of my own improvement in things like clearing resentments and growing self-confidence, but also to work on tending to the emotional connection that is the root of the relationship, and making sure that I show up as the partner that I need and want to be.


Even if we both work on ourselves to be the best individuals we can be, if the teamwork and partnership aspect isn’t there, there’s no relationship.

And the love I have and the ability to see the real person inside of the addiction is the reason I’m still here, right?


So I encourage you to use as many tools as you can find for your own recovery. The world is full of them, to be used however you see fit. Whatever contributes to your positive well-being and further advancement in your life is a good instrument to use, and the more diverse your toolkit is the more fun you can have.


Anyone ready for a jam session?


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