I was recently driving home with my daughter when Demi Lovato’s new song Sober came on the radio. I had read that she had been struggling in her recovery and wrote about it in a song, but I hadn’t heard it yet. Before I knew what was happening, I was overcome with emotion. As I listened to the lyrics, it felt as if I was suddenly transported to my life 4 years ago. I felt the all too familiar sting of regret and despair, followed by the warmth of fresh tears on my face.
I caught my daughters eye in the rear view mirror, and noticed she was watching me with a concerned look on her face.
“Are you ok, mama? Are you sad for her?”
I told her yes, I was sad for her.
And then she said, “I’m happy you’re still sober, mama. You’re the best mom. Don’t be sad.”
And with that, my silent tears turned into ugly sobs of both gratitude and heartbreak.
It is not lost on me that my 9 year old daughter understands what the word “sober” means. My heart hurts when I remember that I am the reason why she knows what Demi Lovato means when she sings, “I am not sober anymore.”
Most 9 year olds have no idea what words like sober, alcoholic or rehab mean – but mine does. Her mother is an alcoholic, and children of alcoholics are often required to grow up much too quickly.
I thank God every single day that I found recovery when she was just 4 years old so that she had the chance to remain a child for as long as possible. I hope she never meets that version of her mother again, but I’ve learned that addiction is relentless – so I must remain vigilant in my pursuit of health and happiness.
This song by Demi Lovato got me thinking about all of the times music has touched my life on an emotional and/or spiritual level in my recovery. There are times when a song connects with me in a way that simple one-on-one conversation cannot. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of my favorite songs – a soundtrack to my recovery, if you will – and type out a piece of the lyrics that touched my heart.
The songs on this list have been played countless times throughout my recovery journey – the highs and the lows – and they will serve as a testament to where I once was and where I am today,
So here we go, in no particular order!
1. Demi Lovato – Sober
Momma, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.
And daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor
To the ones who never left me, we’ve been down this road before
I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.
2. Rascal Flatts – I’m Movin’ On
I’ve dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ on.
3. Staind – It’s Been Awhile
It’s been awhile
Since I could say
That I wasn’t addicted
It’s been awhile
Since I could say
I loved myself as well.
4. Montgomery Gentry – Some People Change
She was born with her mama’s habit.
You could say it’s in her blood.
She hates that she’s gotta have it
As she fills her glass up
An’ she’d love to kill that bottle
But all she can think about
Is a, a better life, a second chance
An’ everyone she’s letting down
She throws that bottle down
5. B.o.B. Featuring Priscilla – John Doe
I just want the John I know.
Once you put the drinks on hold
Maybe you could come back home.
6. Amy Winehouse – Rehab
I don’t ever want to drink again
I just, oh, I just need a friend
I’m not gonna spend ten weeks
Have everyone think I’m on the mend
And it’s not just my pride
It’s just till these tears have dried
They tried to make me go to rehab
I said, no, no, no.
7. Macklemore – Drug Dealer
No options, exhausted
This is not what I started
I lost everything I wanted
My blinds drawn, too gone to leave this apartment.
8. LeAnn Rimes – Amazing Grace
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found.
Was blind but now I see.
9. Carrie Underwood – Wasted
Another glass of whiskey but it still don’t kill the pain
So he stumbles to the sink and pours it down the drain
He said it’s time to be a man and stop living for yesterday
Gotta face it
‘Cause I don’t wanna spend my life jaded
Waiting to wake up one day and find
That I let all these years go by
10. Brad Paisley ft. Allison Krauss – Whiskey Lullaby
She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away his memory
Life is short, but this time it was bigger
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees.
11. Sara Bareilles – Gravity
“I live here on my knees as I try to make you see
That you’re everything I think I need here on the ground.
But you’re neither friend nor foe,
though I can’t seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know,
is that you’re keeping me down.”
12. Shinedown – Cut the Cord
“‘Cause agony brings no reward
For one more hit or one last score.
Don’t Be a casualty
Cut the cord.”
13. Linkin Park – Crawling
There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface.
This lack of self control I fear is never ending.
I can’t seem to find myself again. These walls are closing in.
I’ve felt this way before – so insecure.
14. Halsey – Alone
I stayed a night out in Paris where they don’t know my name.
I got into some trouble with that drink in my veins.
I got a problem with parties ’cause it’s loud in my brain.
And I can never say sorry ’cause I won’t take the blame.
15. The Fray – How to Save a Life
Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend.
Somewhere along in the bitterness.
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.
16. Rachel Platten – Fight Song
This is my fight song.
Take back my life song.
Prove I’m alright song.
My powers turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong.
I’ll play my fight song.
And I don’t really care
If nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got
A lot of fight left in me.
17. Ed Sheeran – Bloodstream
I’ve been looking for a lover.
Thought I’d found her in a bottle.
God, make me another one.
I’ll be feeling this tomorrow.
Lord, forgive me for the things I’ve done.
I was never meant to hurt no one.
I saw scars upon a broken-hearted lover.
I hope you enjoyed this list! If there are any songs that have touched you in your recovery and you feel comfortable sharing, please leave them below in the comments! I would love to discover new songs to inspire me, as well as to get me through the inevitable hard times!