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Addiction Counselor, Poet and Song Writer

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Addiction Counselor, Poet and Song Writer

guitaristI wrote in an earlier post that there’s something about addiction that makes many people want to write about their feelings. Then I learned about Tim Conley, an assistant professor of Social Work at the University of Montana who teaches two courses on addiction and counsels addicts.  He writes songs from the other side of the fence, capturing his clients’ experiences.  In The Journal of Poetry Therapy, Conley says this about his song writing:

“Through the music I was able to achieve a heightened sense of empathy and more fully experience the feelings associated with these events, finding meaning and place for them in a way that allowed me to remain emotionally resilient enough so I could continue to see other addicted clients day-by-day.”

 

You can feel the empathy in the following two poems of Conley’s, once again proving my thesis…there’s something about addiction that makes people want to write about their feelings.

Relapse

It’s easy to get lazy, when the pain goes away.

Memories growing hazy, of the price we’ve had to pay.

Like children who will wander__from the safety of a home;

A never-ending nightmare, wakin’ up and all alone.

It’s crazy to go easy, on the things that keep us sane.

To look and find a reason, to turn and walk away.

Feeling like we’ve made it__like our wounded mind has healed itself somehow;

Even though we hate it, slipping back into that cloud . . .

People who would love us lose, leaving in the guilt regrets and shame;

Lost somewhere so far between, believing lies and feeling all the pain.

Relapse to the bottle, to the wickedness and hollow place inside;

Wandering in Madness__from the spirit poured within__you cannot hide . . .

Cannot hide.

It’s easy to get lazy, when the pain goes away.

Memories growing hazy, of the price we’ve had to pay.

 

Early sobriety

Now that I am sober I just don’t know how to behave

Time goes by much slower and I always seem to crave

They tell me to get numbers, to reach out and to call

I think if I don’t take 12 steps I’m surely gonna fall

Where is everybody, who said they loved me?

Have they all gone running? like I went running too?

Where is everybody, who said they loved me?

Can they see me now? Can I see them too?

If I could just forget who I was and what I’ve done

Today might be another clean__a clean and sober one

If I could just forget the hurt, the people and the pain

I might be able now to start my life again

Where is everybody, who said they loved me?

Have they all gone running? Like I went running too?

Where is everybody, who said they loved me?

Can they see me now? Can I see them too?

Now there are the meetings of my mostly sober friends

AA coffee talk in places we just don’t pretend

There’s hope in here conflicting, conflicting with despair

I think how long it took to get my ass in this chair . . .

Where is everybody, who said they loved me?

Have they all gone running? Like I went running too?

Where is everybody, who said they loved me?

Can they see me now? Can I see them too?

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