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Posts Tagged ‘drug and alcohol addiction’

A few weeks ago, I bought two tickets to see Steve Earle at the Orange Peel.  I had been out of work for several weeks and no way should I have been buying concert tickets.  I don’t even know his music.  But I was manic , had heard good things about him through the years, and it seemed like a good idea.

(I never get super manic, usually just slightly hypomanic, and I have gotten pretty disciplined over the years about not spending too much money when I’m manic – one of the classic risks of mania.  But I seem especially vulnerable to overspending on the last day of a mania, just before I start to slip into depression.  My theory is that some part of me senses the impending slip and spending money is part of a last ditch attempt to stay expanded.)

Pandora likes this album.

Pandora likes this album.

I briefly considered just going down to the Orange Peel before the concert and hawking the tickets for a couple bucks less than people would pay at the box office – I have done this before and it has worked out fine.  (If you are not jacking up the price for a sold-out show, you are not scalping and it’s totally legal.)  But something in me said to hold on to them.  I posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone to buy the second ticket and go with me.  Within an hour, two actual friends (not some Facebook “friend” who I don’t really know – or someone I do know but don’t really like – which I was concerned might happen) bid for the ticket.  The first one in line is a cool woman with whom I have been looking for the chance to spend some time.  It was, once again, the miracle of Facebook – and part of why I think, for all its failings, it actually can serve as a partial antidote to isolation.  (More on my position that Facebook can be good for depression in my upcoming Page on Treatments – gonna get it up when I get a little more content on it, probably within a week.)

So I decided to roll up my sleeves and expose myself to some of Steve’s music.  Spotify, my favorite source for free downloaded music, surprised me by only having one of his albums – The Essential Steve Earle, not one that Steve’s Pandora discography even mentions.  Probably today I’ll bite the bullet and pay ITunes to download a couple of the albums that Pandora describes as “critically acclaimed”, but so far this album is a completely adequate introduction and I have played it through three times in two days.

And I like his music a lot!  It’s a nice blend of rock and country, which Pandora says made it hard for him to ever be embraced by the country music establishment, but I like better than straight country.  He’s a great songwriter, with terrific melodies and very poetic lyrics.

This album, like most "Collection" albums, is not listed by Pandora as "critically acclaimed"

This album, like most “Collection” albums, is not listed by Pandora as “critically acclaimed”

And when he sings – as he frequently does – about wild times, hard times and being down and out, he apparently really knows what he is talking about.  He has, over the years, had more than his share of problems with drugs and alcohol and problems with the law – once for assaulting a security guard at his own concert.  And problems with women – five failed marriages, some of them in quick succession and/or very brief.

But he apparently has been straight for a number of years now.  Pandora doesn’t say much about the current state of his mental health, but I like to fantasize that he is in a pretty good place – more peaceful than ever, with a fairly non-chaotic life and finally enjoying the fruits of his labors.  Like I said, this is a story I’m making up, but one I like.  When I see him in concert in three weeks, I will be holding him not only as an exceptionally talented musician, but as one of my recovery heroes.

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