Friday, June 22, 2018

A Little Help From My Friends

When I was in fourth grade I decided I wanted to be a drummer. This was based on the popularity at the time of The Beatles, and my thinking that if I could be like Ringo Starr I'd be really cool! Good plan. And, in fact, I went on to become a pretty decent drummer, playing in a variety of bands down through the years. Not so sure about the cool part, though. Oh well.

To this day I still think Ringo Starr was an excellent drummer -- not technically so much, but in the sense that he provided just the right background rhythm and groove for the band's music, which contributed to The Beatles' unique musical sound and style.

As far as Starr's vocal ability, well that's another story. Not exactly known for his great voice, he did contribute lead vocals to a handful of The Beatles' hits, not the least of which is the classic from the Sgt. Pepper's album, With A Little Help from My Friends.

I recently read the biography Ringo: With a Little Help, written by Michael Seth Starr (no relation), which clearly suggests that when it came to Ringo's own group of friends, he didn't always make the best choices or hang out with the healthiest people. In fact, for years he partied way too much with the likes of Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson, regularly abusing drugs and alcohol. And while Ringo and his wife, Barbara Bach, eventually found sobriety, his experience about the importance of hanging out with the right people can be a lesson to all of us.

In my work as a therapist and counselor, I work with a lot of folks with drug and alcohol problems, and when it comes to their social life, they generally tend to hang out with others who also like to drink and drug. (Surprising, huh!) So, one of the challenges for folks in recovery is learning to socialize in healthy and appropriate ways, which means establishing new groups of friends and acquaintances. While this can feel a little uncomfortable and awkward at first, it’s absolutely necessary for folks in recovery to make some new friends, as well as to reconnect with friends they knew before they started using. 

You can absolutely get by with help from your friends -- just make sure they're the right ones!

Thoughts? Say more about that....