Sunday, February 12, 2012

RIP Whitney Houston

Nobody, but nobody, has ever topped this performance of the National Anthem.

I was saddened to hear last night of the death of Whitney Houston at the very young age of 48. From all outward appearances, it seems to point to her drowning in the bathtub in a hotel room in Beverly Hills. Prescription medications were found in the room, but no illegal drugs (but if there had been, her "people" could very well have removed them from the scene prior to EMTs and the police arriving). We won't know for sure what was in her system until there's a toxicology report.

But I think, given her history of drug addiction and trips into and out of rehabs, and rumors that last year she had a cocaine habit for which she spent upwards of $6000/week to support, and another trip to rehab this past May, no one is really stunned by the news. This morning, TMZ reports that Xanax and alcohol are likely the culprits. Together the two are a lethal combination, and stories of addicts/alcoholics passing out in bathtubs or hot tubs and then drowning are sadly all too common.

Addiction and alcoholism had ravaged this awesome vocal talent, rendering her voice raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high and low notes that used to leave us jaw-dropped. I can't tell you how many people I've heard over the years cursing Bobby Brown for "ruining" her. Or others shaking their heads and blaming her descent into addiction as "a series of poor choices." Or making fun of her "crack is whack" statement, even though I'm pretty sure she meant it when she said it.

Yes, it's poor choices that get us addicted, and yes, addicts have a way of finding each other. But once you are addicted, trust me, it'll take no act of will to shake loose of it. In my experience, the only things that really work--in the long term--are a profound spiritual change and the grace of God.

Addiction is a living hell I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

I pray that in death, Whitney finds peace, comfort, solace, and release from the nightmare that had engulfed her. And wherever she is, I hope she's singing.


Tedi Trindle said...

I also hope this can become a learning experience for some. It's hard for people to separate the behavior from the disease. I don't drink anymore, but I am still an addict. I was born that way. Other people can make the same choices I made and not have the same problems. That is something that really needs to be injected into the debate and the public conscious.

Joyce said...

It's tougher for people when it comes to an illegal substance like crack or whatnot ("Well, they shouldn't have touched it to begin with!") but it's exactly the same as alcohol. (Though I understand something like crack is more addictive.) Some of us just can't have it all (alcohol or pot or you name it)... but the problem is, you don't know you're one of the people who can be easily addicted until you find yourself addicted. Insidious disease.

Joyce said...

Have it at all, I mean