12 Steps: The Musical!

12 Steps: The Musical!
20th Anniversary Issue

 

Twenty years ago when I was still a year away from publishing my first book, Spiritual Housecleaning: Healing the Space Within by Beautifying the Space Around You (New Harbinger Publications, 2001), which I wrote about here at SoulfulLiving.com, I was also imagining a musical that showed the compassionate tension, transformational pathos, and gallows hilarity of a 12-steps recovery group. Everyone was doing them in the 1980s and ’90s.

For substance abuse of all sorts, but also for codependence, childhood abuse, and toxic family issues, the 12 steps were (and still are) unsurpassed in their potential for healing and recovery in an atmosphere of fellowship and community. Somehow they seem to have gone out of fashion. But now, after all these years, my show “12 STEPS:The Musical!” is ready to be produced.

My hope is to shine fresh light and inspiration for recovery onto the scourge of addiction that strangles our country today in epidemic proportions. The conversation has to go beyond law enforcement vs. treatment. We won’t cure this disease until whole communities embrace the value of living authentically and mindfully, trading addiction for long-term recovery, and understanding the bankruptcy of quick fixes that never address our attachment to a culture that thrives on consumptive addiction.

We need to once again ask the question: what inspires someone to wake up, to face themselves and their fears, and to make the decision to become a person who deals honestly with those fears rather than succumbing to mind-altering substances—or ideologies, for that matter—that destroy self and others in unconscious reactions? Inspiration to make that decision, along with a celebration of those who have, is the reason I wrote this show.

No play, straight or musical, is fully complete until it has been on stage and developed by actors and directors. Steps! is no different. I’ll be starting later this winter, with the help of a music director and the Belfast Creative Coalition, a nonprofit organization in Belfast, Maine, that works with artists to address issues that affect a wide variety of community realities, to direct and develop a series of “seated singing” events that present excerpts from the show. With 22 original songs and 8 characters struggling with a variety of addictions, it will take a few events to bring out the potential of this “meeting” on a stage.

Later in the year, we’ll present the show in its entirety in a similarly seated-singing, maybe some staging, format. Next year, after we make revisions made clear by the process only actors can complete, we’ll produce the whole show fully staged (hopefully with a director more experienced than I!). I can’t tell you how excited I am to embark on this fulfillment of a dream!

One thing we all need to remember in 2020, it is never too late to make our dreams come true.

Read below for the lyrics to one of the songs in “12 Steps: The Musical!”

Today and Today and Today*

Today …
Today and today and today.
I can just be a person today.
Today
I can leave my eyes clear today.
Today
I can leave the glass on the table,
the pills in the bottle,
the need laying there!

          (chorus)
       Today!
Nothing special in a day.
It’s neither gold nor grain.
It’s neither rot nor rain.
It’s just a day.
And I am just a person
living like a person
on a nothing-special day.
And that’s okay.  Today.

Today …
Today and today and today.
I will just count to ten today.
I can even count you in today.
Today…
I’ll keep my fists in my pocket,
my cash in my wallet,
my thoughts to myself!

       (bridge, tempo change)
They say one day at a time.
Just take them as they come.
Never overdrive your headlights!
And they mean it!

Today …
Today and today and today!
Today, I will not use—
not a substance, not a person—
to tell me who I am!

Today …
Today and today and today.
I can just be a person today.
Today
I can see my way clear today
Today
I can leave the glass on the table,
the pills in the bottle,
the need laying there!

Today!
Nothing special in a day.
It’s neither gold nor grain.
It’s neither rot nor rain.
It’s just a day!
And you are just a person
living like a person
on a nothing-special day.
And that’s okay.
And that’s okay.

And that’s okay … today.

*© 2020 KL Robyn. From “12 STEPS: The Musical!”

 

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