Monday, July 30, 2012


Here comes August. Last year in August I wrote every day. First time in my life I ever wrote for 31 straight days. Only problem was that I hardly wrote at all for the next twelve months. Doesn't matter. At the risk of doing the same thing and expecting a different result, I'm going to try again to post something every day in August. But with a little bit of a twist. I'm way busier this August than I was last August so I need a little bit of a crutch – a gimmick if you will. So here it is: I'm going to post a song every day and write 500 or so words on the memories it brings up. We'll see where it takes us.

It will almost certainly take us through parts of my addiction and my recovery. Tonight when I lie down to sleep it will be the 1,800th consecutive day I've gone to bed sober. That's why I'm writing this post about what I'm doing in August tonight instead of tomorrow. If I do that 28 more times after tonight, I'll get to celebrate five years without a drink or a drug. It's hard for me to believe. August 26, 2007 seems like yesterday and a million years ago. I couldn't even imagine five months sober at that point, let alone five years. It's like a dream, only way way way better.

So, to commemorate 1,800 days I've chosen a song by an American Idol winner – Kris Allen. Anyone who's read this blog regularly knows that sobriety and American Idol have been my two favorite topics. It's only right that I choose a song that blends both of them almost perfectly.

You've probably never heard this song. It's “the first single” of Kris's new album (as if there will be a second single). Apparently the album, Thank You Camellia, was released in May. I only know that because I just looked it up on Wikipedia so I could write that sentence. Even for a hardcore Idol fan, it's virtually impossible to keep current on who is still recording and who's been dropped. Both happen without fanfare. But I hope you listen to this song tonight because the message is uplifting. The video is about bullying and kids feeling like outcasts, but the lyrics offer a more universal message.

It could almost be about recovery from addiction. The message I hear is about doing what's right and helping your fellows. “When a tears falls and the fear calls, will we stand for the vision of love.” That's pretty much what I struggle with every day. Will I practice the principles I need to live by to stay sober even when I'm afraid of the consequences? Even if it's difficult or causes me hardship? I'd like to think the answer is yes, but I know I fall short regularly. The good news is that I get to try again tomorrow.

So, what makes this song the perfect blend of sobriety and American Idol? Well, there's a line right before the chorus starts that pretty much sums up how I've gotten through the last five years: “With a little faith and a little song, we can't go wrong.” Indeed.

And just as an aside, if you watched that season of Idol and liked Kris, this song will almost certainly remind you why you did. He's got that awesome falsetto to go along with his everyman voice. Enjoy. I'll be back on Wednesday with another song.

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