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March 31 • Crossroads

Day 265


I’m not certain whether I had already decided I had a problem the day I heard “Crossroads,” an old Don McLean song from his American Pie album. Listening to those lyrics for the first time during my acting out may have been part of the catalyst for me coming to terms with myself. Either way, I began singing the song to my wife, silently. Everyday. Multiple times a day. This was shortly after I started putting in time at SAA meetings, without changing other behaviors. The first verse captured my hurt, and gave me hope that others also felt trapped and betrayed by the conflict of the inside vs. the outside:

I’ve got nothing on my mind; nothing to remember, Nothing to forget. And I’ve got nothing to regret, But I’m all tied up on the inside, No one knows quite what I’ve got; And I know that on the outside What I used to be, I’m not anymore.

The poet later sings about the hope of help through trust and love, but it was those first few lines that gave me my Ah-Ha moment about where I was living, and that I needed help to get out, to get healthy. The evening of the first round of pain and anger following my initial disclosure to my wife, I found the courage to play her this song, and to tell her how often I prayed it over the previous several months. She listened quietly. She cried. When it ended, she said, “That’s beautiful.” She gave me hope that the rest of the song had a chance.


–JR

 

Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it? Can you find my pain? Can you heal it? Then lay your hands upon me now And cast this darkness from my soul. You alone can light my way. You alone can make me whole once again.

–Don McLean, “Crossroads”




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