Uncle Kracker had a hit song that he wrote in 2001, describing his love affair with heroin. Sadly, he also had made the news in 2007 for an arrest that indicated he may not have been completely over all the trials and tribulations he would face on his journey. And he recently made news with a song intended to make light of the COVID-19 shutdown. Did he miss the mark?

However, in this post, we’re looking at the lyrics for “Follow Me” and how they reflect the relationship developed with addiction — as well as how hard it is to break up:

You don’t know how you met me
You don’t know why
You can’t turn around
And say goodbye

All you know is when I’m with you
I make you free
And swim through your veins
Like a fish in the sea

I’m singin’
Follow me
Everything is all right
I’ll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you want to leave I can guarantee
You won’t find nobody else like me

I’m not worried
‘Bout the ring you wear
‘Cause as long as no one knows
Then nobody can care

You’re feelin’ guilty
And I’m well aware
But you don’t look ashamed
And baby I’m not scared

I’m singin’
Follow me
Everything is all right
I’ll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you want to leave I can guarantee
You won’t find nobody else like me

Won’t give you money
I can’t give you the sky
You’re better off if you don’t ask why…

“Follow Me” describes Uncle Kracker’s all engulfing love affair he had with heroin. Like so many addictions, he was not sure how he met heroin, all he knew is that it completely encapsulated him and caused him not to care.

What Uncle Kracker did in those lyrics was capture the hold that mind altering alcohol and other drugs has on someone. No wonder breaking up is hard to do, whether it’s giving up ones’ attachment with a romantic partner that is not helpful or a substance.

Let’s backup and look at how hard a breakup with addiction, like a breakup with a romantic partner, is.

  1. Think about how hard your loved one or you fought to hold onto their relationship with AOD to the point of being all consumed. In many ways like breaking up with a partner you do not want to believe the love affair is ending. Even if the relationship was awful and you had all kinds of negative consequences the thought of living without it is unacceptable. Still it is becoming clear that you are not going to make t unless you give it up. You have gone from, “Don’t leave” to Okay, I will give up. The moment you stop texting your drug dealer or the folks you were using with you are hit relentlessly with the brutality of the loss. Like a lover who went astray this can be a brutal process and it takes time to reshape your life.
  2. No doubt you knew somewhere that this breakup was coming on for months or years and yet when it finally happened you felt blindsided, overwhelmed and immobilized. How can I live without him/her. Here are some of the stages one can anticipate going through when one breaks up with addition and or a girlfriend, boyfriend etc

Desperate For Answers

In the beginning you are desperate for answers. You may fixate on things that happened and have contradictory ideas about what was good or what was bad about the relationship and you may swing back and forth between foggy disbelief and flashes of clarity that this relationship is over. You want to make send of what happened an dto that end  may make you debate what friends, families, co-workers saw so clearly about why the relationship ended.

In the beginning you cant imagine living without your ex. In this case your ex is a drug. Afterall you put everything into the relationship and it has been your whole life. In not imagining you can give up this partner in the same way you have difficulty giving up a person, you may postpone grieving with the unrealistic notion (maybe we can get back together again  — in the case of AOD maybe one drink won’t hurt me).

  1. Denial – This can’t be true, it really is not happening. You fought to hold on to the relationship for way too long even when you knew that it was coming. You postpone your need to grieve because it is just too painful to face
  2. Bargaining – Try as you might you might bargain, if only I did this or that maybe the relationship wouldn’t end But the truth is both you and the drugs contributed to the end, just in the same manner when you have a breakup both parties contributed to the end. Bargaining can only briefly distract from the experience of loss. Reality inevitability crashes down on you. Furthermore when you bargain, you don’t take responsibility for why the relationship does not work, which may give you the illusion that you have control over it, perpetuating the myth that it is somehow salvageable.
  3. Relapse – Long before you actually take that drink or drug or pick up the phone and actually call your lost loved one relapse can occur. You might start hanging out with friends that you knew or used with. You may even convince your ex that she/he needs to go back with you, that one drink, one toke, one snort is not that bad .You may have to experience the pain of relapse before you are able to radically accept what actions are on your best interest
  4. The Importance of Grief Work – Learning to grieve allows you to reflect, clarify your values and deciede what kind of life you want moving forward. And if you don’t grieb you may never resolve your feelings about the relationship and its end. This can make it difficult to be emotionally available to a new partner and a new way of loving.

Whether it’s breaking up with someone or breaking up with an addiction like heroin, people tend to employ some of the same strategies as they moved towards radical acceptance of their respective realities. When you talk with people after the relationship is over, you will often find that they:

  • Reached out and got help from professionals
  • Reached out to supportive family & friends
  • Openly shared their feelings
  • Attended Appropriate support groups
  • Prioritized and learned Self Care – Got enough Sleep, Physical Activity, Food
  • Created a daily routine
  • Radically accepted reality and left their ex alone, whether it was a bottle, a drug, or  a person
  • Stayed in the moment each day
  • Developed a practice of gratitude and of service

Recently I was asked by more than one person: How can I live thru a breakup? I feel like the person I was in love with died, yet they are still there and I can’t get them out of my mind.

Truth was the person that they were referring to was their love affair with alcohol and other mind altering substances. I hear you and it is true breaking up is hard to do.

First of all you went from being all in, all consumed, to not wanting to believe and accept that it’s ending. Even if your relationship was full of ups and downs, even miserable at times the idea of living without the other person is devastating. Still no matter how much you scratch your head and say “it isn’t so”, it is becoming clear to you that it is over. And you are finally starting to say to yourself its over.


  • Louise Stanger Ed.D, LCSW, CDWF, CIP

    Writer, Speaker, Clinician, Interventionist

    Dr. Louise Stanger founded All About Interventions because she is passionate about helping families whose loved ones experience substance abuse, mental health, process addictions and chronic pain. She is committed to showing up for her clients and facilitating lasting change so families are free from sleepless, worrisome nights. Additionally, she speaks about these topics all around the country, trains staff at many treatment centers, and develops original family programs. In 2018, Louise became the recipient of the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House Excellence in Service Award. She most recently received the Interventionist of the Year Award from DB Resources in London and McLean Hospital - an affiliate of Harvard University, in 2019. To learn more, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDf5262P7I8 and visit her website at allaboutinterventions.com.