Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

I was planning to post about the debt ceiling in the US today. But then word came that Amy Winehouse was found dead in her apartment, of a presumed overdose. Her father is on an airplane, not knowing that she is lying dead, while millions of us are already reading and writing and talking about it. They have already made her a member of the Forever 27 Club, along with Janis, Jimi and Morrison.

So many people are FaceBooking, Tweeting about Amy that her death was a given, because of her addiction. That's easy to say now that she is dead. But people do overcome addiction, even when it looks as though they will fail. And there are celebrities who are still struggling while in the limelight. I want you to know, even though they don't, that I am pulling for them. Lindsay, Brittany, you're in that group. You CAN make it. Millions of people want you to.

It was a happy day when Robert Downey, Jr. turned the corner. He struggled mightily in front of everyone, and seemed lost so many times. Let's hope he never has to struggle that hard again. He is a brilliant man with so much talent and we are so lucky to get to be the beneficiaries of it. That is how I feel about all the people I know who are survivors of their addictions, who are making it in this world in spite of that terrible disease. They are heroes. Addiction is a killer.

We are going to have to do better as a society. We have recognized that addiction is a disease. We have devised various ways to deal with that. But we still attach a stigma on the one hand and glamorize it on the other. We lose family and friends and our celebrity darlings. These are real people with real talents. We have to do better. We need our people who have talents and skills in the areas of science, medicine, counseling, celebrity wrangling, psychology, to start putting their heads together to save our future generations from addition. And as for the rest of us we need to stop stigmatizing and glamorizing ... however and whenever we can.

Addiction runs rampant in my own family. I have survivors, I have practicing alcoholics, I have family members who think they have control. We all know which ones we are. How about you? Are you untouched?

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