I'm genuinely saddened by the death of Amy Winehouse. I don't have soft feelings about addicts--I've been up close and personal with alcoholics, drug users, sex addicts, and anorexics (though I've never been an addict myself)--and find them profoundly dishonest, manipulative, hooked on victimization, prone to blaming the world for their problems, and sometimes just weak--but their plight breaks my heart. They are victims of both biochemistry and trauma--physical and sexual abuse are common in their backgrounds--and they piss away (literally) the best of what is a short life. For their sake, I want to kick their asses into gear. For my sake, I let it go. Ultimately, their fate is in their own hands. If they put themselves in the position of responding to help, man, I'm there for them. If they only pretend to do that I kick 'em to the curb, hoping the best, expecting the worst. Addicts bullshit a lot. A lot.
I have friends who have pulled themselves out of addiction not only to the substances they were hooked on but to the habits of mind that made them more vulnerable to those substances. I know how difficult that is and my respect for their courage in facing their addiction grows with every passing year I know them. I love them not only for their courage, but for their honesty, and spiritual rigor.
(One of the most difficult aspects of working in theater is being around so many artists addicted to alcohol and nicotine. Hanging out with 'em I can't quite escape the sense I'm enabling them. But, I remind myself that we all have a right to pave our own path with the obstacles most attractive to us, and let it go, best I can.)
I expect one day I'll find myself working in a rehab as a counselor. Addicts piss me off, yes, but they piss me off more for them, than at them.