Amy Winehouse died yesterday. I know, old news.
The thing is I liked her voice, I liked her music, I cringed when I read the accounts of her train wreck of a life on multiple celebrity websites and news shows.
Winehouse’s death wasn’t a surprise. She was an addict. I thank GOD my addiction is food. When things get too bad for me, I can reconnect with Weight Watchers and get back to a place that isn’t deadly.
I can’t imagine a life of drug addiction. A life where one minute you feel like you’re in control and you have everything together and the next you can’t walk or talk or live normally.
I know what it’s like to feel like I’m control of food and then two months pass and I realize I haven’t counted a point or lost a pound and ice cream isn’t safe in my freezer.
I’m not belittling drug or alcohol addiction. I’ve known plenty of addicts in my life and loved most of them. It’s a painful love. One minute they’re the person you know and you absolutely believe they’ve got the addiction conquered because it’s been two or three or six months, and then, suddenly, they’re calling you and your heart drops when you hear the slurred voice or worse, it’s a collect call from the jail, but you hang up before the automated voice can even ask if you’ll accept.
You can’t say yes. You can’t because you’ve done that before and the yes was followed by promises you know won’t be kept. You can’t say hello or even pretend it’s all okay. You just hang up and you sit in your chair and breathe deep so the tears go away instead of falling because if they fall, they won’t stop. And then the anger hits and you want to call the drug pusher doctor and tell him there’s a special place in hell for people like him, only then, it all comes back to the same stuff all over facebook and twitter about Winehouse. Addiction is a personal decision and she chose to use drugs and she chose to drink and she chose to die. And you wonder is it the doctor’s fault, is it Just Say No’s fault, is it your fault because there was a time the addictions were hidden? They were there, though, you remember that in bits and pieces. They were there, but they weren’t In Your Face.
So yeah, I know addiction in its ugliness and I hate it. I hate that a talented musician died because the drugs were more powerful than the love of family and friends, than fame, than knowledge that life was good when the addiction was under control.
I hope the ones I love don’t follow in her footsteps. If they do, and it could happen, their deaths won’t lead twitter and facebook posts about tragedy vs. sad, but they’ll still be dead because of drugs and alcohol, and it won’t matter that their deaths were ultimately personal choices.