Thursday, January 14, 2010

Powerful, powerful words

On my way home from work today, I was listening to From a Late Night High Rise, the fine 2006 album from Matthew Ryan, one of my favorite (and one of the most underrated) singer-songwriters. The last track on the album is called "The Complete Family," and it's a spoken-word "song" that Matthew wrote about his older brother, who suffered from addiction and is now serving 30 years in prison. There is one part of the "lyrics" that totally mirrors how I felt when my wife and I picked our son up from rehab (both times):

"Now I remember that day you had just gotten out of rehab.
And I was happy to see you.
Happy to hope.
That from that point forward.
All would be better.
And I was proud of you.
And we were going home.
The complete family.
A complete family.
Just you and me.
Mom and Dad.
A complete family."

The other passage that crossed my mind today is from the book called Addict in the Family by Beverly Conyers, which I've quoted in my blog before:

"Some family members admit to harboring a secret wish that the addict would die. 'At least I could mourn him and get on with my life,' they may reason. 'She's not really living anyway. God might as well take her so I can stop worrying,' they say. 'Don't I deserve a little peace of mind before I die?'

"Such sentiments are indicative of the deep suffering that many families of addicts experience. A sense of hopelessness arises when every conceivable effort to save the addict has failed. When families have given everything they have to give, and when the only result seems to be endless unhappiness, they may long for an escape no matter what the cost."

There aren't words enough to tell you just how much both of these passages move me.

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