Music- Recovery Word of the Week

 “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” –Plato

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” –Plato

      Our Word of the Week series continues here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCDT) and this week we are highlighting “Music” as our featured word. Salina, the Program Director/CEO of SOCDT, operates from the perspective that most, if not all addicts, share a history where emotional attunement from parents was lacking and potentially absent altogether. Working from this position creates a tangible jumping off point that allows us to focus on connecting and really understanding the personal stories of each and every client that walks through our doors. Why is this relevant when talking about music in relation recovery you ask? I believe, as someone who was himself lacking in attunement throughout most of my life, that music becomes a vehicle for which we experience emotions that may have otherwise been suppressed, ignored, or remained unconscious to our experiences in the present. While the power, inspiration, and solace that we derive from music isn’t relegated to only those suffering from emotional issues related to their addiction, I do think that music functions as a different kind of facilitative tool for potential growth in the addict. The amount of natural, musical talent that enters our doors at SOCDT never ceases to amaze me. I almost feel like a minority as I seem to be in the small percentage of recovering addicts who doesn’t carry with them an intrinsic talent to express themselves through music!
            Here at SOCDT, one of our most revered and transformative groups is Music Group. While this group is a favorite amongst the clients, it is much more than a mere jam session; it is an experience that requires clients of different backgrounds and musical tastes to work together in order to turn an inspirational idea into, what sometimes can become a musical masterpiece. Our clients are encouraged to work together and if playing drums, guitar, or piano isn’t your particular cup o’ tea, a lot of clients find a hidden, poetic talent in lyric writing. It is a joy to watch our clients experience the healing power of the music which they created and to see them integrate emotions associated with their composition into the present. Being willing to experience negative emotions, especially if we have been using drugs and alcohol to keep them at bay, can be a daunting and even terrifying thought for those new to recovery. At SOCDT, we have found that channeling these dark feelings into music can make the experiences associated with them more palatable. It has been said that where words can sometimes fail to convey a message adequately, music will speak. Understanding that with histories where attunement was lacking, emotional intelligence can also be lacking. This can make it difficult for those of us in addiction to extrapolate meaning from foreign emotions, and sometimes even harder to articulate its meaning. This is the time, here at SOCDT, where we give our clients the chance to rest their mouths and instead speak through our music. “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”