“You’re the inspiration” is not only the title of this blog but the title of an amazingly schmaltzy Chicago song from the 80s. I named this blog about addiction, disease and recovery after that musical masterpiece because it occurred to me years ago that whenever I was in my local Rite Aid buying alcohol, some corny love song like this one or this one or anything from the Celine Dion (more on her at another time) catalog was always playing. It was as if the musical director for the drug store chain had masterfully crafted a soft rock tapestry perfect for purchasing everything from cheap wine and cat litter to copies of Soap Opera Digest and Fleet enemas. The humor and irony that songs of love and downright co-dependency (See: “Without You”, the Mariah Carey version for further proof) were blasting as I purchased the only thing that I loved at that time was not lost on me. My alcoholism had a soundtrack and much like my disease itself, it wasn’t pretty.
These songs are played at weddings and are the kinds of things that wind up on late night CD compilations that you secretly want to buy. And it’s funny that most of the lyrics of these heartwarming hits could be applied to the way I felt about drugs and alcohol. Take “Through the Eyes of Love”-please!- for example.The lyric “Please don’t let this feeling end, it might not come again and I want to remember” pretty much sums up my never-ending search to get high and hopes that I can recapture and hang onto the feeling. Not only is this a great song to summarize my addiction but it’s also the appropriate thing to play if you’re an ice skater who goes blind. Yet the romance of my drinking unlike these pop music cockroaches, didn’t last for long. It was ugly for the better part of a decade. In my mind though it still sounded cool like the real music I loved like PJ Harvey or Phoenix or Bjork (who’s Post was a favorite of mine to listen to high). In reality it was out of date, old and tired like the songs at Rite Aid.
In a way, urtheinspiration is my greatest hits. Thoughts I’ve had, secrets I’ve kept, memories that have come back, memories that are still fuzzy and new theme songs. Also, You’re the inspiration refers to you, the people I know and don’t know who battle addiction and adversity who routinely tell me, “yes, you can get through this.” So let the music play and no I don’t take requests. Okay, maybe I’ll take requests as long as it isn’t anything by Air Supply.