Mar 14

“Chandelier”: Addiction Song by Sober Songwriter

Can’t feel anything, when will I learn…From “Chandelier”

The writing of “Chandelier,” on singer Sia‘s 2014 album 1000 Forms of Fear, was reportedly rooted in her own past addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs. By the time she co-wrote “Chandelier,” though, Sia had entered sobriety and was no longer unhealthily “swinging from the chandelier,” a popular term referring to excess partying.

Last year Hillel Aron, Rolling Stone, did a feature article on the artist, “How Sia Saved Herself.” Before she could have a career unlike any other pop star, she had to learn how to live, states the subheading. Therapy, medication, and 12-step meetings have been helpful, but not enough in some ways. Sia’s obsession now is dieting. Unhappy with feeling bigger than the typical female pop star, she apparently tortures herself over a perceived need to lose weight.

A huge hit, of course, “Chandelier” has been covered by many other singers in the past few years. Below are three special versions for your viewing:

  1. Sia’s own official video
  2. American Idol winner Trent Harmon performing a Sia-coached version she loved
  3. The Voice winner Jordan Smith doing his four-chair-turn audition (not the full song)

Following the videos are the lyrics in full.

I. The original, sung by Sia, performed by dancer Maddie Ziegler:

II. Trent Harmon, American Idol, 2016:

III. Jordan Smith, The Voice, 2017:

Lyrics to “Chandelier” (SongMeanings.com)

Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, they’re ringin’ my doorbell
I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back, till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Sun is up, I’m a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight, on for tonight
As I’m just holding on for tonight
No I’m I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight, on for tonight
As I’m just holding on for tonight
As I’m just holding on for tonight
No I’m I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight, on for tonight

Jun 29

“Blackout” Drinker: Sarah Hepola’s Memoir About Recovery

As I inched into my 30s, I found myself in that precarious place where I knew I drank too much, but I believed I could manage it somehow. I was seeing a therapist, and when I talked to her about my blackouts, she gasped. I bristled at her concern.
“Everyone has blackouts,” I told her.
She locked eyes with me. “No, they don’t.” Sarah Hepola, Blackout

Why this particular quote from Sarah Hepola‘s recently published Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget? Because as a therapist I recognize it as a fairly common scenario—the denial that precedes an altogether different discovery about one’s drinking and its effects.

Hepola, now 40 and a Salon editor, has a lot to say about her history of blackout drinking. The quote at the top and the next couple are from a book excerpt in The Guardian.

What is a blackout? Contrary to popular belief, an alcohol-related blackout is not the same as passing out. Rather, it’s when you forget what’s happened to you: “the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.”

Behind the Scenes of a Blackout: 

“The blood reaches a certain alcohol saturation point and shuts down the hippocampus, part of the brain responsible for making long-term memories. You drink enough, and that’s it. Shutdown. No more memories.”

Additional specifics: “Your short-term memory still works, but short-term memory lasts less than two minutes, which explains why wasted people can follow a conversation from point to point, but they will repeat themselves after some time has passed – what a friend of mine calls ‘getting caught in the drunkard’s loop’. The tendency to repeat what you just said is a classic sign of a blackout, although there are others. ‘Your eyes go dead, like a zombie,’ a boyfriend once told me. ‘It’s like you’re not there at all.’ People in a blackout often get a vacant, glazed-over look, as though their brain is unplugged. And, well, it kind of is.”

Blackouts, by the way, come in different sizes, as it were. There are, for instance, “brownouts”—a fragmentary type; there are en bloc ones, a full-scale loss of memory for a significant period.

On Hepola Quitting Drinking