I really need to find someplace that has this song for karaoke. (Breaking Benjamin’s “Ashes of Eden”)
I first heard this song a week or so before we went to the Breaking Benjamin / Disturbed concert, when I was dealing with the whole “possible heart surgery” situation. I was a nervous wreck up until the concert, but after singing along to almost every song that Benjamin and Disturbed played, there was a whole week when I felt no symptoms – no chest pains, no abnormal heartbeats, nothing. The power of music, I’m telling you.
I’ve been singing this song in the car ever since, and it wasn’t until my cardiologist (“my cardiologist”… that’s oddly easy to say) told me I *wasn’t* in need of immediate heart valve surgery that I stopped tearing up every time I sang it. I realized tonight that I’ve been holding on to this song as a way to get me into and through that possible surgery. I don’t know if that’s what Ben had in mind when he wrote it, but it works for me that way.
After the concert, I did some research, and found out that Benjamin Burnley (the lead singer) is not only a hypochondriac like me, but has some actual serious, chronic, mysterious medical issues. Suddenly, all of the band’s songs, all the dark tones and themes about loss and giving up, all shone in a different light. It also explained why this latest album of theirs seemed more upbeat, more “screw it, I’m doing what I want” – Ben has basically given up chasing after doctors to fix him, and was just powering through the illness and the symptoms. Again, that works for me.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I even started running again – the cardiologist was surprised I’ve been doing that at all, actually. I know that there’s something wrong with me, but it’s nothing that’s going to kill me. I’m “possibly decades away” from surgery. I’ve found a few groups online of people with my condition who are in worse much worse shape than me, and they’re still kicking. I just have to keep plugging along and doing what I do.