You have these lines you won’t cross. But then you cross them. And suddenly you possess the very dangerous information that you can break the rule and the world won’t instantly come to an end… one day you look around and you think, There was a line here once, I think.

Billy speaks these words in “Debut” as he recounts his descent into addiction and infidelity during his first brush with success. He remarks that sleeping with women other than his wife, drinking, and using drugs are all the same thing, in that they are all mechanisms through which he tries to fulfill a need in the wrong way. He describes the slippery slope of addiction, recalling how things can get out of control in a way that feels incremental until suddenly, the boundaries he had created for his life have blurred. This metaphor encapsulates how helpless Billy feels during this point in his life. Though he has so much to celebrate between his successful first album, his new marriage, and his baby on the way, he can’t feel that joy. Instead, he’s lost in a purgatory of addiction trying to figure out why his life looks unrecognizable.

I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t stay because when I looked at Daisy, wet and bleeding and out of it and half-near falling down, I did not think, Thank God I stopped using. I thought, She knows how to have fun.

Billy speaks these words in Chapter 3 of “Aurora” as he recalls discovering Daisy partying at a hotel after missing a recording session. The scene is disturbing: Daisy is sopping wet in a designer dress, bleeding from the bottom of her feet after stepping on a broken glass. In contrast to Simone, who is miserable and worried for Daisy’s well-being, Billy is absorbed by his renewed battle with sobriety, as seeing Daisy intoxicated makes him envious and causes him to doubt his ability to remain sober for the rest of his life. Here, Daisy is unable to feel the joy of her successful songwriting, missing the recording session entirely. Billy, driven by his gnawing addiction, is unable to feel the appropriate pain and empathy for someone he cares about and is instead absorbed in his own battle to remain sober.

I think you start getting high to dull your emotions, to escape from them. But after a while you realize that the drugs are what are making your life untenable, they are actually what are heightening every emotion you have. It’s making your heartbreak harder, your good times higher. So coming down really does start to feel like rediscovering sanity.

This quote comes from “Aurora World Tour” after Daisy accepts the band’s Grammy for Record of the Year. In her acceptance speech, she dedicates the award to anyone who is “hung up on somebody or something.” Daisy has started to use drugs less frequently as she moves toward sobriety, and in the moment, she recognized how desperate she felt when she was using more, desperate for Billy and desperate for some sort of reprieve. She notices that the drugs actually make it harder to bear the fact that she’s in love with Billy and discovers the fundamental problem of trying to escape her emotions through substances. The strategy not only doesn’t work but it makes her emotions more intense, more inescapable, more out of proportion, and more untenable. She realizes that it’s only through getting sober that she will begin to feel her emotions in proper proportion and begin to feel sane again.