Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

“Lipstick and Cocaine”: In Kaz Hawkins’ Wrenching Song, Love Proves Stronger Than Both Hate and Addiction

Northern Irish singer Kaz Hawkins had lived a long time with abuse when her then-partner slit her throat and left her for dead. “Lipstick and Cocaine,” the song she wrote in the aftermath of the incident, pulls no punches. And that makes the tale of survival and recovery it sketches all the more powering.

“Lipstick represents the face you put on,” writes Kaz Hawkins, discussing the song that has become a worldwide sensation, “and cocaine is what it says on the tin: addiction.”

“Lipstick and Cocaine” (sometimes referred to as “One More Fight”) is such a straightforward, deeply personal song that it hardly requires commentary. But context helps. Hawkins speaks openly of her past, abusive relationships, and how she’d come to believe she didn’t deserve anything better—that she even deserved the violent physical inflicted upon her. Substance use was a symptom of this suffering at least as much as a cause.

Rock bottom came, however, when her then-partner very nearly killed her with a kitchen knife.

In that instant, the voice of her mother came to her, telling her not to give up. Somehow, Hawkins found the strength to stagger to the telephone and call for help. The police came instantly, and the emergency doctor acted with speed and skill. The song is a love letter to mother, policeman, and doctor: the three people she credits with saving her life.

You might want to sit down while you listen to this one. It’s that beautiful, and that raw.

Loading

Related Posts from "Sanctuary"

When Song, Faith, and Joy are Enough

The full name of the song is “Ndikhokhele Bawo,” which means “Lead me, Father” in Xhosa. These South African youths, assembled in their school’s courtyard, transform their place of learning into a concert hall with nothing more than the power of their voices. But it’s their spirit of joy and solidarity that lifts the beautiful into the realm of the sublime.

Learning About Depression. And Fighting Back.

Forty percent of Americans will suffer a major depressive episode at some point in their lives. Five percent of the world’s population is suffering from it at any given time. It’s a disease that’s too often misunderstood—when it’s not overlooked entirely. Recovery writer Annie Highwater offers this primer on the many forms depression can take, and the variety of paths available for dealing with it.

IFS: Embracing and Listening to Our Multiple Selves

“Most of the world’s problems arise from a misunderstanding about parts and burdens,” Dr. Richard Schwartz asserts. In IFS, which he founded, the “parts” are our multiple internal selves, and the burdens are the trauma and wounds they try to manage on our behalf. The simple but radical proposition of IFS is that these multiple selves arise for good reasons and have a lot to offer—if we can help them change with the seasons of our lives.

Dr. Gabor Maté: The Power of Addiction, the Addiction to Power

Across four decades of work on issues of trauma, addiction, childhood development, stress, and illness, Dr. Gabor Maté has become an internationally recognized thinker, author, and public speaker. But his brilliance is only one side of the coin. The other side, evident in all his remarks, is profound compassion. In this TED talk, both qualities are on full display.

LEAVE A COMMENT / ASK A QUESTION

In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)