Saving My Life

I drove home early this morning from my friend’s house. I was listening to my Google Play mix on my phone. Fray’s song “How to Save a Life” came on. I love this song. It always reminds me of Grey’s Anatomy. But for the first time, I started to listen to the lyrics in a different way. I started to think “this sounds like it is about an intervention?”

The first lines:

Step one, you say, “We need to talk.”
He walks, you say, “Sit down. It’s just a talk.”

As I listened, I started to picture someone trying to help a friend get sober. It mentions fear and blame and defense. “Lay down a list of what is wrong…The things you’ve told him all along.” I started crying by the time I got to the lyrics:

He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

I listened to the song on repeat several times and kept crying as I drove. Why have I never heard the lyrics this way before?

I read up about the meaning of the song once I got home. Isaac Slade, the songwriter, said the song was composed and influenced by his experience while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens. He said a lot of people started to write to him what they thought the song meant. The band was open to interpretation of the meaning. I do not think I will ever hear it again without comparing it to saving my own life with sobriety.

Mistake # 76 – I was on spring break and vacation from work. I was not getting along with my roommate. I was depressed. My plan was to drink a case of beer with sleeping pills. I actually stopped at the store to buy a garden hose. The full plan was to drive out in the country side, put the hose in the tailpipe of my car and through my window, drink the beer, and take the pills. I figured the combination would be the best option. But I got so depressed, I did not even want to drive anywhere.

It was a Tuesday night.  Since I did not have to be at work until Monday, I thought no one would notice until then. I pushed a bunch of boxes and heavy things to block my door. I did not want my roommate to barge in and ruin it. I laid in my bed taking pills and drinking. I had a cooler in my room to keep the beer cold. Not sure why I did not want warm beer for suicide. I kept popping a pill or two with each beer. I do not remember if I was watching movies or listening to music during the process. I do remember pouring more pills into my hand when the bottle spilled. All the pills fell  out on my bed and some on the floor. At that point I fell asleep. Or passed out. It was more from the pills than the booze.

But I was woken up sometime late Wednesday with a phone call. I forgot to turn off my phone. It was a friend asking me if I wanted to go to the club. I told her I was not feeling good. She offered to come by with chicken noodle soup and Gatorade. Damn. There goes my plans to search for the spilt pills and try again. I told her she did not have to but she came over anyway. When she knocked on my bedroom door, I dragged myself from bed to move everything blocking the door. She and her girlfriend came in with hot soup and electrolytes. They said I looked like shit. My friend put her hand to my head. “You are burning up!” She got a thermometer from the bathroom. I had a fever of 104. She walked out to the living room to tell my roommate and her boyfriend “Did you know she is burning up in here? They told her to give me Tylenol. “She’ll live.” They showed no concern.

Instead, my friend and her girlfriend got me dressed and took me to the emergency room. They dropped me off and went to the club. I was dehydrated and developed bronchitis. I guess that was from the sleeping pills slowing down my respiratory system. They gave me some IV fluids and antibiotics. I called another friend to pick me up. I did not want to deal with my roommate. That friend let me recover at her house. I returned home on Sunday night to find a note on my door telling me I had a week to move out.

How to Save a Life Lyrics:

“How To Save A Life”

Step one, you say, “We need to talk.”
He walks, you say, “Sit down. It’s just a talk.”
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you cameWhere did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a lifeLet him know that you know best
‘Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defence
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
Pray to God, he hears you
And I pray to God, he hears you

And where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life

How to save a life

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life

How to save a life

 

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2 thoughts on “Saving My Life

  1. So happy you are here to tell that story. I get so much from reading your mistakes. It makes me relive mine all over again and I know that doing that is a big contributor to my 78th day of sobriety. Keep on bloggin my sober friend!!

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