Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, now Amy Winehouse.

All phenomenally talented musicians, all addicts dead at the age of 27.

Such a waste.

Was Winehouse's death today accidental or a suicide? Regardless of how the coroner rules it, it's both. If it was a deliberate suicide, you can still blame the substances she was on. An addict is not in their right mind. A sober Winehouse would probably not have been suicidal at all. In this sense, it's an accident.

And yet, allowing yourself to be an addict or alcoholic is the same thing as making a choice to die. In this sense, it's a suicide.

I see people on Facebook posting "Moron," "Idiot," and joking, "Yeah, she should've gone to rehab!" It saddens me how many folks are under the impression addicts and alcoholics are all irresponsible people having the time of their lives. That is simply not true. It is a living hell. It may start off as a fun kind of recreational relief, but by the time you're addicted--married to your substance--you are scraping the bottom of the barrel in desperation; you are sick; your spirit is broken; you're at the mercy of out-of-control emotions; you're acting out in total delusion. You're a shell of your former self.

How many times did I almost die?

There was the time I passed out in a bar, fell off my barstool, hit my head, and slumped unconscious on the floor, puking. I had to be rushed in an ambulance to the nearest Emergency Room. Had this happened at home with no one around, I'd probably be dead.

There was the time I slammed into a concrete wall so hard I blackened my own eye. What if I'd been behind the wheel of a car?

Alcoholics die all the time, slipping and falling in the shower, tumbling down stairs, passing out in hot tubs, passing out drunk and then choking on their own vomit.

There but for the grace of God go I.

Today I pray for every using addict or alcoholic out there, the ones lost outside the rooms, the ones in the belly of despair. May you find a way out.

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