It was the longest, most painful nightmare of my life – something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. A beloved family member was trapped in addiction, caught up in the tide of the opioid epidemic sweeping our country.
We were one of the fortunate families. Our person finally asked for help and got the treatment and support necessary to begin the long journey toward recovery.
For the longest time after the heat of the crisis was past it was a relief just to be able to not have to think about it every minute of every day. Where normally I process major life events through songwriting, this time I found myself not wanting to go there. And I didn’t – for four years.
When putting together the new website for Music for the Soul we came up with the idea of creating a search-by topic feature to make it easier for visitors to find what they were looking for. In doing so I came face to face with something that was missing – songs for addiction recovery.
MORE THAN A STATISTIC
It felt irresponsible to me for our ministry to not address an issue that is devastating so many families. According to drugabuse.gov 115 people die every day in the United States from overdosing on opioids.
When you’ve seen this problem up close and personal it becomes more than a statistic. That’s when you realize that each life lost represents a person who had potential – who had hopes and dreams and promise.
And that number doesn’t take into account the over twenty million others who are struggling with substance abuse and the families that are suffering right along with them.
When I finally turned my attention to writing songs about addiction I was very surprised at how ready I was to do it.
Having gone through the experience of watching someone do the difficult work of recovery I wanted to begin by creating a song that would encourage someone who was fighting to take his or her life back from addiction
ONE DECISION AT A TIME
I’ve spoken with many therapists through the years about addiction but to help get a “step-down” facility for people coming out of a recovery program.
I asked “What is the most import thing you think a person in recovery needs to know.”
Her response was simple and yet filled with wisdom. “They need to do the next right thing.”
She shared with me that that’s what recovery looks like – A thousand small good decisions. Made one decision at a time.
Sustaining sobriety is a life-long road filled with millions of potential potholes.
It cannot be accomplished all at once. It reminds me of the age-old expression, “We eat the elephant one bite a time.”
For someone facing the overwhelming challenge of overcoming addiction this helps break it down to something that feels possible.
The truth is, that all of us, no matter what challenge we may be facing, can benefit from this approach. Whether it is eliminating debt, going back to school to change careers, or mending a broken relationship – all of the important goals in our lives can be best accomplished by doing the next right thing.
If you, or someone in your life, are battling addiction please reach out for help. This is not something you have to do by yourself. By asking for help you’ll be doing the next right thing.
If millions of us do the next right thing, then maybe we can begin to turn this tide.
We’re working to create other songs for addiction recovery for our site but I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this one today.
Do the next right thing
You’re not as alone as you think
Take one small step
and see what hope it might bring
One day at a time
Do the next right thing