The War On Drugs-Pain


“I’ve been pulling on a wire, but it just won’t break.

I’ve been turnin’ up the dial, but I hear no sound.

I resist what I cannot change,

And I wanna find what can’t be found”-War On Drugs

War On Drugs-Pain video


My mood is wrapped in a bit of pain….but stay with me here.

I am the third child in a family of four children, yep the lost one in the middle. Growing up, the oldest in my family was protesting wars and living peace and love, the second child was reeking havoc in order to be seen and heard, and the baby was simply, bunny rabbit sweet and adorable, while I quietly existed under the radar. I learned to keep the peace and stay quiet.

Middle invisible

I observed family life with a discerning eye and would learn from the many mistakes I saw occur around me. I formed strong opinions, from the stormy, family dinner arguments, which no one inquired or listened to when I found my voice to speak. I watched and learned how to lose, how to win, and how to subtly influence thinking. I was a keen observer and I became fiercely independent.

I feel I have grown up to be surprisingly well-adjusted, despite many family dysfunctions. I look at the once oohed and awed over abilities of the siblings before and after me, and even though I grew in their shadow, I now realize how lucky I am to have gathered the strength to surface on my own without many family reinforcements. Every time my grandfather visited, he would ask. “Now, who are you?”.  It was a game he played, but looking back, it makes me sad. Thank heaven for my mother’s love when I was young, and my father’s love (sadly, I see less and less due to unforeseen complications) today, both life saving infusions for my heart.

My siblings all think they know me, when they really don’t. They rarely take the time to ask and if they do, they tell me their experience or expand on how they know more. In frustration, I can sit on a phone in silence for crazy amounts of time before any of them on the other end remembers to ask me a question or wants to know my thoughts. Even so, I am seldom taken seriously because when I finally have their attention, I fumble my words and confuse my thoughts due to the rarity of a listening audience. I roll my eyes and laugh at myself, but I know my heart and I move forward, reinforcing another reason, writing words on a page are my oxygen. So my family has sadly drifted very far apart. Hardship and trauma are just the reality of false connections that prove to be lacking in true depth. I have made many efforts to stay connected over the years, but I am growing tired, very tired. Why am I always the one expected to reach out? And when I do, I am usually disappointed by a whirlwind of sadness afterward.

Rejection is terrible.

I long for something, that I cannot have or fix. I get it.

So instead, I have spent many years investing and growing a new family. It has been my primary focus.

A recent long weekend away, has proven to be just what I have always longed for in my heart. I am thankful beyond words, for their love and their acceptance and wanting to spend time together, even when there are differences or problems. If problems arise, we all take the time to soften our words, listen to each other, work it out, and look deeper into the hidden reasons for the misunderstanding. We will build new memories from the time spent together and fondly reminisce about the old. I can’t foresee the future, but I will not settle with the pain of losing what I thought I had, and instead I will look forward to this new chapter with the hope my present family will stay committed to each other and share in special events together. I hope we gather together, not only because we enjoy being connected, but also because we want to acknowledge each other’s need to be together. We are a puzzle of different pieces carefully placed to create a whole new beautiful picture.


Pain can be difficult to swallow, but in time it lessens and the bitterness subsides leaving space to build something new and potentially more lovely.

The War On Drugs

(photo credit: Shawn Brackbill)

The War On Drugs is the main effort of Adam Granduciel, but he is supported by David Hartley, Robbie Bennett, Charlie Hall, Anthony Lamarca, and Jon Natchez. They are a Philadelphia rock band with the ability to carry you away with their distinctive sound. Their swirling guitars, whispering vocals, and layers of instrumental dreaminess are the primary vessels. Each song is worthy of multiple plays due to the layers of instruments and sharp songwriting, all carefully built on top of a steady pulsing beat. Discerning each instrument and focusing on the lyrics is a puzzle in and of itself. A game best played with eyes closed and headphones on. “Pain” is about sadness, but the song isn’t quite sad. It seems to search and beg for hope and understanding, a cathartic release of blissful music.

Each song on the recently released album, A Deeper Understanding is a journey into long textured songs exploring emotions of loss, private suffering, loneliness and pain but each sweeps subtly into the others making it easy to forget space and time, therefore finding a sense of healing from within.




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