Every once in a while a song comes along that seems to perfectly describe a time in your life that you just get stuck on it and listen to that song over and over. Or is that just me? I’ve written previously about such songs and I have found another song which perfectly describes a time in my life.
I’m a long-time fan of Three Days Grace. They released a new album over the summer entitled Transit of Venus. I downloaded the album back in July and then promptly forgot about it, lost amid all of the other shit I had going on in my life. After I wore out the new Avenged Sevenfold album I remembered that I had yet to listen to Transit of Venus. So I loaded it on a thumb drive so I could listen to it in the car.
One song immediately stuck out amongst the rest. The High Road. This song, at least the way I have interpreted it, is about a man who is pleading his case to a woman, begging her not to go. He’s pouring his heart out, telling her he’ll do anything for her. This song struck a chord with me immediately because I just lived through this. One year ago I was in this very same position. I was pleading. I was begging. I was broken. I readily identify with this song.
Not only do the lyrics resonate with me, but the emotion infused into the song by lead singer Adam Gontier captured my attention immediately and made me pay attention to the lyrics. The desperation of the lyrics is captured perfectly and you can feel the pain in them.
I told you I was hurt
Bleeding on the inside
I told you I was lost
In the middle of my life
Those are the opening lyrics of the song, and I know those feelings all too well. I was so lost at that point I would almost define that time as a premature mid-life crisis. I didn’t know which way was up or down. I was a phantom of myself. An empty shell. A ghost. My body was there but I wasn’t. I was going through the motions of life. I went to work, I came home. I took care of my kids, but nothing else mattered. I could barely contain my sanity when they were around but when they were gone I was a fucking catastrophe.
There’s times I stayed alive for you
There’s times I would’ve died for you
There’s times it didn’t matter at all
This, sadly, I also relate to. Nothing I said to her mattered at all then. Nothing. I begged. I pleaded. I changed. I sought help. None of it mattered. She showed no emotion as I drowned. Maybe I drove her to that point. Maybe I didn’t. But nothing hurt more than bearing soul-crushing pain and watching her not give a single fuck.
Standing in the dark
I can see your shadow
You’re the only light
That’s breaking through the window
Everything revolved around her. My focus day and night was spent figuring out how to get her back. It was her who gave me life and so it was her who took it away. I was left with nothing when she left. Nothing else mattered.
I once told my counselor that I don’t handle loss well. He asked what I meant and I told him about how I handled, or didn’t, losing my wife. “That’s not handling loss,” he claimed, “that’s withdrawal.” I found it hard to believe, and still do, that you can have withdrawal from a person, but the symptoms fit. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. My mind raced. When I tried to force myself to eat I became so violently nauseous that I couldn’t finish. I probably threw more food away in those couple of months than I ate. My father took me out to dinner once during that time and all I consumed was alcohol because that’s all my stomach would tolerate.
We’ll I’m not gonna give it away
Not gonna let it go, just to wake up someday gone! Gone!
This was my train of thought. I don’t give up easily. I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I wasn’t going to walk away. I knew we could make it work if we tried. I believed that as long as love was there we could work out the rest. I was so naive.
I’ll do whatever it takes
To be the mistake you can’t live without
This, sadly, is the most powerful line in the song and the line with which I identify the most. I recognize this desperation. I know that desperation. I lived that desperation. I was that desperation. I did and tried everything I could think of to be the mistake she couldn’t live without. I spent my nights lying in bed with my mind alternating between wondering what or who she might be doing and trying to conjure up ideas on how to convince her to come home. I had only a singular purpose, and that was to show her that she needed me. But she didn’t. She doesn’t. She never will. Conversely, I know now that I don’t need her. But there was a time I would have done anything to make her stay.
The worst part is looking back
And knowing that I was wrong
This really is the worst part. I wasted so much time and energy trying to salvage an illusion. Our relationship wasn’t real. It seemed real to me, but it wasn’t. Our relationship was a sham. Perhaps she loved me in her own way, but she never loved me the way a wife loves a husband. I was just wrong. About everything. Admitting I’m wrong is a novel concept to me. I’m my father’s child, to an extent. Admitting my faults is something I’ve never done. I didn’t begin to until she shattered my existence. When I had no other choice but to really look at myself and analyze how I had gotten where I was, that’s when I saw who I was. I didn’t like what I saw. I was wrong in so many ways I can’t even count them. That was most definitely the worst part.
On the flip side, however, I did see who I was and have been able to become a different person. A more tolerant person. A more open person. More in touch with my emotions. I discuss my emotions more. I’m a better person now for all of the bullshit I have endured in the last year. So even though I crashed and burned, I have been able to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and continue on.
I have been listening to this song on repeat for the last 24 hours, and I’ll probably continue to do so for another day or so until I tire of it. There’s just something about this song I can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s how I could have written this song myself. Maybe it’s the feelings it elicits. Maybe it’s the emotion contained therein. Whatever it is, I’m hooked on this song now and it’s now one of my favorites.