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Blue October: HRSA Meaning

HRSA Lyrics

Comitted at twenty two
Just to get over you
My belly aches blue
Lorazepam flu
I'm down for the count
Always three times a day
Sometimes four
A bee stings right through the arm
The high swing I ride upon
My eyes can't quite focus on
The nurse with...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 26th 2012 report

    I saw this song on your front page this morning and it inspired me to write. I went through treatment for addiction when I was actually just in Love. I am not making light of the latter, I am questioning the former. When a man becomes an addict his brain gets hijacked. (Same goes for women. I am just using a man as an example because I am one.) This mayhem occurs in his pre-frontal cortex. That area of his brain is his "judgement center" - the region which guides survival functions. This lobe gets commandeered by addiction. His ability to detect danger and/or see potential negative outcomes/consequences becomes tweaked. He not only has a weakened ability to recognize consequences, he also has a weakened ability to inhibit responses. He isn't doing any of it "on purpose". When someone is an addict, this area becomes deeply screwed and his judgement becomes impaired so he makes decisions that aren't smart or safe. He becomes much more impulsive. His ability to feel "normal" is gone. With these chemicals in his brain he begins to accept the unacceptable. Any pleasure he once felt from using the drug eventually becomes pain. Eventually his pre-frontal cortex gets burned out as he spirals down the tank of addiction. The structure of his brain actually changes as he journeys down this path of destruction. But, the good news is: Once an addict becomes clean & sober the changes in the brain structure will reverse over time. The bad news is: This process does not work for Love.

    What the treatment people say... "Don't focus on what you are losing - Focus on what you are gaining." "Recovery is replacing the hurt with hope." "The gift of despair is willingness." When you are in the thick of it, these phrases can sound like maddening treatment jargon. Also, they might make sense when talking about actual addiction to a substance, NOT a person. Some other sayings they gave me/the gentleman in the treatment center were, "Whining is just anger coming out a hole that is too small", and "Pain becomes power when held up to grace." One erudite philosopher type of recovering addict teacher adored quoting Socrates. This one was truly my favourite, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I thought it motivating, but was concerned about its potential aftermath. What if several addicts in the audience of 200 hadn't appropriately examined their lives? What if they felt unable to provide themselves a sufficient examination? Oh sure, there were plenty of other wrecked, defeated addicts around to give you their two cents on your life which they know virtually NOTHING about. The treatment center had a peer-driven modality, after all. So, should these unexamined folks now be placed on suicide watch? HRSA? No matter what, after hearing that one, I think most of the addicts decided to go inward to take a peak at their lives. The bow-tie wearing Socrates lover knew how to inspire.

    One exercise we had to do daily was a consequence/feeling report. We each had to go around in a circle and contribute a unique consequence & feeling every single day, based on the following formula. I am using female names in order to protect the anonymous identities.

    Hi. My name is Fran and I am an addict. One consequence of my use is = I got kicked out of school.
    It makes me feel = depressed.
    Hi. My name is Pat and I am an alcoholic. One consequence of my use is = I got three DUIs.
    It makes me feel = embarrassed.
    Hi. My name is Sara and I am an addict. One consequence of my use is = I was pimped on the internet.
    It makes me feel = empty. You get the picture and so on.

    One thing I learned in treatment is that some women are afraid of revealing the abuses they have suffered for fear of being called delusional. They don't feel at liberty to share their actual experiences with the group. A friend of mine who is a woman told me that. I think it would be difficult to go through months at a treatment facility and have to keep your story to yourself. That type of person, would have to do her soul-searching & her life examination, completely alone. (It sounds like she has to give her ownself a pap smear. Ew.) I would imagine the professionals would be keeping a close watch on this type of person.

    Thank you songwriters, for stimulating me & allowing me to examine myself.

  2. anonymous
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    Mar 25th 2012 report

    Like this singer, I too was committed for being in Love. I tried to make the best of it. This song's lyrics bring it all back vividly. Everyone in the treatment center is broken by life. Many people have trouble with their boundaries. Group sessions can be a complete circus and nobody is permitted to laugh. (In fact, sobbing is a requirement.) People race to the nurse's office when her hours begin because most people take three or four medications on average. At the least, most patients are on an anti-craving medication, an anti-anxiety or an anti-depressant & a sleep aid. I was the rare bird who took only a multi-vitamin, fish-oil (my mom has macular degeneration) and calcium. I think the nurses thought I was "interesting".. Anyway, this process takes a great deal of time for the nurse to dispense. All of the women hang out waiting for their turn. It's all very "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".

    When I arrived at the clinic, I probably appeared normal enough on the outside. But inside I was deeply shaken up by an unusual and devastating experience I'd had. (I definitely had PTSD although was never diagnosed with this on site.) I met with a psychiatrist once, for a 45 minute appointment, and he questioned me. At the next gathering, he told me that the trauma I had experienced was all in my mind. That meeting was held on a Friday morning. The doctor and a colleague sat me down, much more formally than before, in order to inform me that I was "delusional". They presented me with four choices.. 1. Stay at their facility an extra two months. 2. Begin Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a psychologist on staff. 3. Have an MRI taken at a hospital in Wyoming, Minnesota, and 4. Begin taking an incredibly extreme pharmaceutical drug. Coincidentally, the day after I was misdiagnosed with this severe mental disorder, the staff decided to test the alarms at the facility. We were in a morning group session in the main living-type room in our dorm when the noises began. The lights flashed red, which felt like daggers piercing my eyeballs & the buzzing and ringing was HORRENDOUS. I had never heard any alarm like it in my life. It could have woken the dead. The alarm also had a horrifying voice that bellowed "DOCTOR ORANGE! DOCTOR ORANGE!" over and over again like a diabolical robot. One by one, the counselors filed into the room and closed the doors behind them. We, the inmates, were in "lock down" mode. The counselors stood over all of us patients, watching our expressions intently. The entire experience was TERRIBLE. Any sane person would have wanted to sprint out of that room and/or hop out of their skin. Having just been diagnosed with "delusional disorder", and feeling freshly traumatized over having been called crazy, I knew all eyes were on me. Any sane delusional would have felt their stares! I had to summon all of the peace I could, not to lose my shit.. All I could do was calmly close my eyes and breath, with Armageddon going on around me. After what seemed like a solid ten minutes, it was over. The counselors unlocked the doors and told the group to carry on. I felt like I had passed a humongous test.

    I received special treatment for my MRI appointment. It was late on a winter's eve. First, I had to start in the hospital part of the facility in order to have a few tests. They took my blood pressure, urine analysis, what have you. SOP in order to give me clearance to leave the treatment center to visit a full-fledged hospital with an MRI machine. I had my own designated van with a driver. Off we went to Wyoming. That story is for another day.

    This song reminds me of being committed for Love & that's commitment.

  3. anonymous
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    Mar 25th 2012 report

    Justin was institutionalized at one point after a difficult relationship. It would appear that this is a song about what he witnessed while he was a patient at a mental hospital.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 15th 2011 report

    Lorazepam is a drug often used to help with depression. I think he just got out of a relationship, and is now in a clinic. The drug is given in (two or three)divided doses.

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