My Cup Runneth Over With Creed.

An old saying always comes to mind when I think about my recovery. 

"It takes a village."

I had so much love and support from so many people when I first got sober. I was fortunate. It would have been impossible to accomplish that on my own. 

My village was as much bustling as it was desolate. It was vast, and it was small. My village was sometimes accessible and sometimes remote. My village was populated with family, friends, doctors, co-workers, peers, and mentors. My village was filled with love and patience, encouragement and understanding. It was also filled with music. It was everywhere. Music became the soundtrack to my life. It followed me, blasting from a boombox on my shoulder. There weren't many artists on the soundtrack. As a matter of fact, it was composed, in its entirety, by one band.


Before I continue, I need all Creed haters to chill. I know there are a lot of you out there.

I admit, their lead singer, Scott Stapp seemed kind of douchey, and yes, they had a Christian rock vibe, which was a turnoff for some, but Creed is not the real villain. 

The villain is Nickelback. 

In 2013, Rolling Stone magazine readers voted Nickelback the second worst band of the 90s. It's not important who finished number one. It might have been Creed. I don't remember exactly. 

I digress.

I know what you're thinking. How does a "Christian rock band" with a douchey lead vocalist help a nice Jewish kid from Long Island get sober? 

I don't know. If I did, I would have stood on a street corner and handed out Creed albums, airdropped Spotify playlists, or whatever the kids do these days. Music is the most potent remedy for my soul. It helps me process all sorts of emotions and comforts me in a way that nothing else can. Music is that tree branch I reach for when slowly sinking into a pit of quicksand.

I wasn't always a Creed fan. In fact, I didn't take them seriously at all. Ironically, they were my Nickelback back then.

I had to step in quicksand to appreciate Creed. 

I wasn't looking for them; Creed somehow found me.

Why Creed? 

In the past, I would turn that shit off every time it came on the radio, and they weren't any different back then than when I got sober. 

It was me that was different. 

I was hearing things with a new set of ears. I was looking for something, anything to identify with. I needed something to lean on when no one else was around. The emotions were falling out of me, and I needed a safe place for them to land. Creed's music was like one of those giant inflatable bags a stuntman uses when jumping out of a helicopter. 

The melodies were powerful and haunting, the chords heart-wrenching and inspiring, and the lyrics vulnerable, tragic, and tormenting. Even exuding all that pain, it always seemed like redemption was somehow possible.

A few songs, in particular, could have been written by me or about me. The details weren't the same, but the feelings seemed to be. When I listened to Creed, I felt I was being cared for. It felt safe. My headphones often provided a moment of respite when life seemed overwhelming. 

I didn't learn until later on in recovery that Scott Stapp was battling his own demons with drugs and alcohol. He was also later diagnosed with mental illness. Something that I've lived with the entirety of my adult life. 

Stapp used his music to cope with whatever he was going through back then. I can only imagine he was also looking for a safety net to fall into. I wonder if he knew that his music was helping others manage their pain.  Maybe that could have been the redemption he was looking for. 

Like me, Stapp is now in recovery, and he's still making music. I've listened to it, and it's pretty solid, but once again, I'm in a different place, and other music has found me. I don't listen to Creed very often these days, but when I do, instead of looking for a safety net, I just turn up the volume and bang my head.


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