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Ask the Rock Doc: 
Sound Advice for a Song 
By psychologist Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT 

Details, and, in some cases, the method of communication associated with the following letter may be altered, to protect the confidentiality of the distressed person

Dear Rock Doc: 

First of all, your Ask the Rock Doc column on ACDC was really helpful.  My son, Jeremy is a huge ACDC fan, and we have been a little worried about the band, and what they represent.  But lately I've been facing a much greater obstacle in my life.  

Last night I had a dream that my husband came home from a long tour, dressed in bright colors, and beaming with joy and excitement, only to announce that he had found a new mistress who went by the name of Cocaine Katy.   

My husband, Stu and I have been together for nearly 12 years, and he is still as romantic as the day we met.   Stu is a good man, but his lifestyle has become more and more reckless and self-destructive since he started using cocaine.  Stu is an extremely talented man.  He writes and sings original country songs and he's also in a Beatles cover band called Yesterday.  His cover band has become incredibly successful as a performance act and he's on the road most days of the year.  My husband brings in plenty of money, but I teach piano lessons just to keep occupied.  We have three children, but they are all grown up and in college.    My husband refused to go to NA or AA because he does not believe he has a problem.  We have tried those emergency meetings in which we corner him and confront him, but his resistance has always become even stronger.  What can I do to save our marriage and save my husband from completely destroying himself?  I see a dark cloud in my future.  I have little hope that my husband will ever change.  

His Better Half 

Dear "His Better Half": 

First, I'm glad my thoughts on the band, ACDC were helpful.  I actually received another letter inquiring further about the band, but I'm going to need to do a little more research on the band to adequately answer that inquiry.  

 Your struggle is not much different than the struggle June Carter faced with her husband, the legendary, but often beleaguered Johnny Cash.  I didn't have to dig too far in my doctor's bag to find this song, a song I wrote about their joint struggle (no pun intended) to get Johnny Cash off of drugs. 

See if you can relate to: 
The Ballad of Johnny & June 
Words and music by Bruce L. Thiessen, (c)2005  
Duet performed by Dr. BLT and Alyssa Kaess 

Also, the following song about somebody's appreciation for another artist's renditions of Beatles songs, is one that I recommend you share with your husband, as a way of affirming him for his musical abilities, while getting more intimate with him by sharing in what I believe is likely his second greatest passion: his passion for music:  

When I Heard you Sing
Words and music by Bruce L. Thiessen, (c)2005  
Featuring Alyssa Kaess on vocals 

I believe it's time for your husband to take a break from his touring, and for the two of you to work on ending his relationship with drugs, and strengthening your relationship with one another.  It sounds like your husband is rather resistant to the suggestions of others concerning his drug addiction.   That's where June Carter Cash comes in.   She is a person who has left an enduring legacy, not only as a musician and entertainer in her own right, but as the person responsible for getting Johnny Cash on the road to recovery.   She could be a great rock 'n "role" model for you.  You must be persistent and insistent with your husband.  You must also be prayerful, because, ultimately our efforts do not guarantee anything in terms of results.  We can only plant the seed.   Only God has the power to take that seed, nurture it, and cause it to grow.  Only God can penetrate his heart and change the direction of his life.   

Your part is to pray, believe, and then persist in your efforts to win over your husband.  Believing that he can change, and that God has the power to dramatically alter (or should I say altar) his life, may be the greatest challenge for you.  That's where this next song comes in.  It is about a person who has very vivid, colorful dreams at night, but has abandoned all daytime hopes and dreams.  

Color of Your Dreams
Words and music by Bruce L. Thiessen, (c)2005  
Featuring Alyssa Kaess on vocals 

PRAYER + A POSITIVE, PERSISTENT PRO-ACTIVE POLICY produces results---period.  80s rock star, Howard Jones had an album and a song called Dream Into Action.  The CD was filled with some of the most positive lyrics I have ever heard.   But, though it rested on what Norman Vincent Peale referred to in a classic book as The Power of Positive Thinking, it was missing one main ingredient in dream/wish-fulfillment: the power of prayer.  

The Bible says to bear one another's burdens, and you have shared your burden with me.  Do you belong to a church community?  If so, allow trusted members of your congregation to share in your struggle and to offer prayer, support and encouragement.  

As long as there is a mustard seed of faith in your heart that your husband will change, with your help, and more than a little divine intervention, there is hope for your husband and hope for your home.  Tell your husband it's time for a time out, and time for a change.  You might feel like you're nagging him, but you are really throwing him a life jacket in a stormy sea of addition.  I can't guarantee that he'll grab onto it, but I do think it's worth pulling a June Carter.  

If you are a musician-in-distress, or a parent of one, please share your concerns with me via this e-mail address: 

Dr. BLT, aka Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, is a Christ-centered licensed clinical psychologist and university instructor who specializes in the psychology of modern music.  He uses his original songs as well as those of other artists to address the problems of his patients, including his biggest, sickest, most challenging patient--society.

His face and name recognition, particularly with teens, comes from his short part on a long Cake music video--the Cake video for “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” that earned the band a nomination for Ground Breaking Music Video of the Year on the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. 



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