Not This Song is about many things, but in the end it is meant to be a site for those of us who struggle to hang on for one more day. Those of us who need to use humor, creativity, spiritual experiments and sometimes sheer stubbornness to refrain from doing something stupid and irreversible. New friends, I’m not talking about actions like screwing up a relationship. I’m talking about the kind of ill-advised actions that end with jail, a locked ward or an artistic camera shot of blood spreading slowly across a floor.
Melodramatic? It may seem so, but I want those of my readers who fight this kind of darkness to know that they are not alone. If you have never felt suicidal, or if you don’t deal with addiction, or if anything you see here does not match your experience, know that you are still always welcome here! Because the kind of stories I want to tell apply not only to addiction, or depression, or dual diagnosis, but to that more global and inevitable affliction known as being human.
The idea for Not This Song began when people told me they wished I would write about being a dual diagnosis person in recovery. For the uninitiated, this psychiatric term refers to someone who has a mental health diagnosis as well as a substance abuse problem. The mental health issues create special challenges in treating the addiction, while the addiction creates challenges in managing the mental illness.
I am a recovering drug addict who practices 12-step recovery, and I will sometimes write about that. I manage my mental health as well as I can, with the aid of professionals who know I am an addict, and I will sometimes write about that. I cope with my emotions in relatively new and untried ways, and I will sometimes write about that. I search for meaning, pleasure and spiritual significance in very odd places, and I will sometimes write about that.
I’m glad you are here, and I hope to tell you many stories.