Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse : Addicts I know.

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.


David said...

Well said, David. Growing up in rural WV addiction is an all too familiar occurence in my home land, so, I know precisely what you speak of. It is hard seeing people I grew up with and, on occasion, indulged in alcoholic stupidity with, spiral out of control into heavier alcohol use and harder drugs such as meth and oxycontin (commonly refered to as hillbilly heroin where I come from). But, my pitty can only go so far. I can only say "yes you can" to the "I can'ts" so many times. I pray for these people and hope for the best, but, I must stay on my own path. I feel most addicts are troubled spirits who honestly want help but are so far gone in their worlds that no amount of help can pull them back in. I may be completely ignorant in that statement and if so, I apologize. The only personal experience I've ever had with trying to kick something is quitting smoking. It was tough, but I was sick of it taking over. I know these drugs that Ms. Winehouse was on are far more addictive and controlling than nicotene, so, I wont even presume to associate with that. But, most of the addicts that I've been associated with have had ample opportunities to get help when help would have still done them some good, when they were aware that their lives were getting out of control but did nothing. I don't lnow,the circumstances around her situation. But I do wish that her spirit is at rest. Sounds like she was trying at one point, but then she just gave up. Kinda like Layne Staley from Alice In Chains.

suzy vitello said...

A lovely post, David. And sentiments that are not expressed often re addiction and addicts.