I don’t live there anymore

I heard a song on the radio yesterday called “I Don’t Live There Anymore”. I had never heard the song before, but when I saw the title on my dashboard, I immediately thought that is me with alcohol…I don’t live there anymore.

When I got up this morning, I looked up this song and there happened to be several songs with the same title. The song I heard was by The War on Drugs (irony!) But the very first song lyrics I came across was by band The Imperials. Every word in this song was so appropriate for my situation. I was just coming home from visiting family and my home town. Where my drinking began. Where when I would return home to visit, I always drank.

“…walking down memory lane, through my old neighborhood, there on the corner of First and Pain, my old home place stood, boarded up and bolted shut, with a sign that read “Condemned”, reminders of the life there was, the way things might have been, but I don’t live there anymore…where pain once held my heart, behind locked doors…I looked inside the living room, where there’s really been no living at all…the love outside all cracked and dry, was fading from the walls, oh, the gloom that fills those rooms, and haunts those creaking floors, are memories reminding me..I won’t live there anymore…your love has brought each wall down board by board…”

If I was a song writer this is exactly what I would’ve written about my drinking. Going home for the first time without drinking was going to be tough. But I prepared a lot, visualizing every possible scenario, bringing along alcohol free drinks, ordering alcohol free beverages when we went out. Surprisingly (well, maybe not so much) I had zero cravings. It hit me when I was playing cards with my mom one afternoon. She and I love playing cards and, in the past, I always had wine while playing. This particular day, I happened to look over at her wine rack and realized I had not had one, single craving since I’d been home. I didn’t miss it. I didn’t want any. I don’t live there anymore.

When I started analyzing why I hadn’t had any cravings, the reason was actually quite simple. It was because I had planned so much. Knowing I was going home where my drinking began and where I’d always drank when I would return, I knew I had to be strong.

“The corner of First and Pain”. So much pain and sorrow surrounding my brother, Pat’s, death. Losing him and then losing his two children (who ended up having to go live with their mother) was almost too much to bear. The house with the word “condemned” although still standing, has constant reminders of love and loss.

“Looked inside the living room, where there’s really no living at all”, how my life with alcohol had taken so much living from me. All the pain and heartache cause by alcohol “the gloom…the haunts…the creaking floors..” all reminding me, I don’t live there anymore.

As my healing continues, changing my beliefs from “I don’t live there anymore” to “I won’t live here anymore” demonstrates my ability to have the choice around my drinking. Day by day I am gaining the strength to remain AF forever.

And, lastly, the song appears to be a love song as in the final lyrics talk of “your love..” in helping heal and move forward. I equate this to the self-love I’m learning. “…your love has brought each wall down..board by board..” The more I see..the more I realize I am home…

4 responses to “I don’t live there anymore”

  1. Wow!!! What a beautiful, moving post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, so beautiful Jennifer!! This Touched my soul as I continue to be AF with our path, as well as words like this that you write and I read and reread regularly to stay on my path to remain AF too!! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! How sweet of you!! I truly enjoy writing and always hoping it helps others!!

      Liked by 1 person

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