Today we have Brinn Black joining us on The SHAIR Podcast.
Brinn’s new single “Daddy’s Medicine” is a powerful ballad that tells the all-too-real tale of living with a father who struggles with alcoholism.
Since she was a child, her dad has really struggled with alcohol addiction and it’s torn the family apart. A few years ago, he decided he was going to go to a rehab facility in Nashville, which ended up bringing them a lot closer together.
On today’s show Brinn talks about the steps she took in her own recovery to develop the coping skills she needed to deal with her Father’s Alcoholism, here are few highlights from our interview.
Omar: So Brinn at what point did you have a spiritual awakening? That ‘aha’ moment when you realized that you were powerless over your Dad’s alcoholism, but for the first time had developed the hope that recovery was possible for you and your father?
Brinn: The first time, probably, I remember driving to the family program and my brothers were in the backseat of my car, and this Bible app messaged me on my phone. Just a random verse, and it kept dinging. When I got there I looked at it – and it had never done that before – I looked at it and it was something about how our burdens aren’t for us to carry, we’re supposed to give our burdens away. I think I had … Part of my identity was wrapped up in carrying my own and everybody else’s burdens that, to see that I wasn’t designed to carry them, it just shook me. I was able to really walk into that day of the family program and everything kept coming back to that passage the whole day. It was just like, “Woh, there’s something else happening in my life, so I’m just going to let it go. I’m going to flow with it.”
It was like God just talking to me. It was also – I know exactly when it was – it was New Year’s Eve. We met – actually she’s one of my best friends now – but somebody that was at the family program there, she has a little boy that’s about the same age as my brothers. She was hosting a bunch of kids to do this New Year’s thing at her house, so I dropped them off and then went and saw the guitar drop in downtown Nashville with some friends. But I had to leave. I was like Cinderella, I had to leave as soon as midnight struck because I had to go pick them up.
Honestly, part of me was a little mad. Like, “Man, his alcoholism is taking my New Years from me too,” you know? I was like my little kid pouting. So I called a Lyft, because I had planned it all out perfectly. I parked outside of downtown, so that way I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic. But I called a Lyft, or an Uber or whatever, to pick me up and we got stuck in traffic anyways. So they were trying to re-route through this alleyway, and there was a mountain of trash, just trash-bags in this alleyway. Then there was a car behind us, so we were just stuck in this alley.
I was like, “Screw that, I’m going to move this trash. We’re going to go.” I was in my high-heels, and it was the most therapeutic thing ever, New Year’s morning at, like, 12.15 or whatever, picking up other people’s trash and throwing it to the side so I can move on. Like, I need to do that every New Year’s. That was such a spiritual awakening too. It was so cathartic, because that’s what we had been doing the whole week, was just going through the trash in our heart and pushing it aside and clearing it.
Omar: So tell us, do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to our listeners?
Brinn: One of my favorite books is The Shack. I know it’s in the theaters right now. I still haven’t seen the movie, but that book just came to me in the middle of college and it allowed me to really see a tangible picture in my head of everything I’d learned about the universe and God, and put to a story that wasn’t something you had to memorize. You know, it was so transformative for me and I always go back to it and use it throughout my life.
That, and my new cornerstone book is Big Magic. It’s by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s just about creativity and inspiration and the universe, and it’s just so … I can’t even describe how amazing it is. It’s from another world. She must have just been channeling the creative center of the universe when she wrote this. It’s just everything that I needed to hear.
Omar: What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Brinn: To let myself be loved. I needed that, to hear that permission. A friend of mine just kind of shook one time and was like, “Just let yourself be loved. Why are you fighting it from everybody?” That same friend, we always joke, we’re like, “Sometimes you just have to make life work for you.” You know?
Omar: That is awesome. I love it. “Just let yourself be loved.”
Brinn: “Just let yourself be loved.” She just looked right into my soul and was, like, “I don’t understand you, why you love so hard, you love big, but you fight this from everybody around you. Like, wake up,” you know?
Omar: Finally, if you could give our listeners only one suggestion, what would it be?
Brinn: Just to give themselves some grace, because I think if we give ourselves grace then we can extend it to others more. But it’s hard to give to yourself.
Website – Brinn Black
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Facebook – Page
Twitter – @BrinnBlack
Instagram – Brinn Black
The Shack – by Wm Paul Young
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – by Elizabeth Gilbert
See you then!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.