Monday, July 25, 2011

Too Many Topics...First, Amy Winehouse

It is always sad when anyone dies; talented, unknown, it doesn't matter, people leave behind those who love them and grieve the loss. Unfortunately, the death of celebrities garners more attention and brings out all the people (yes, I know that includes me) who want to comment on the "tragic" nature of the death of a person plagued by insecurities. One of the many times I want to shout from the rooftops, get off your narcissistic high horse! Drug problems exist throughout all classes of people and while I understand addiction is an evil beast, stating that "Hollywood should be more responsible," (thank you Russell Brand, brush your hair) is ludicrous. If you look past the sound bite Brand actually does get it right, as he comments on the way ALL addicts are treated and that we need to find a NEW way to help them. People are responsible for their own lives. The people who surrounded her should have been involved, but who's to say they weren't? You don't know what she was like or who tried or didn't try to help her. Sick people die. That happens. She had choices. Many more options than the crack addict on skid row who grew up in a house where his mother over-dosed on heroin when he was 10. I don't claim to understand the road of an addict but I know that the person has to try to climb an every growing mountain and it is a daily choice. And sometimes, even all the effort in the world does not get them to the peak. Some people do this with pennies in their pockets and one friend and others do it with millions of dollars and a safety net the size of California.

Insecurities? Celebrities do not get to claim the ownership of that. If every person on the planet who was insecure developed an addiction it wouldn't take very long for us to become "Planet of the Apes," (if we aren't already) as we ALL have insecurities. You choose how to deal with those. In some ways we all anesthetize: food, alcohol, movies, religion, vacations, drugs, concerts, thrill rides...the list goes on forever. When doctors tell you "you will die if you don't stop," it becomes a choice. It is NEVER an easy choice, but one you have to make. Winehouse beat up her body for years, sometimes that body gives out.

Access to drugs is a fame reality, but from the outset you have a choice to say "no." No one is going to fire you for not doing drugs, it's not the 80s anymore. As long as money buys drugs and we put endless amounts of money in celebrity hands, the cycle will continue. Education should come from a basic level and it is not your boss's responsibility to keep you in line. That being said, your boss should probably not supply the drugs either, but I think most of the "fringes" lines for that went out with Nancy Reagan's "Say No to Drugs" campaign. Either way, celebrities do touch your life but the road is somewhat one way. It is not a close enough relationship for you to change their lives most of the time and judging the person or their family from afar is a waste of time.

Help is out there. You can't make someone take it. You can't save everybody. What you can do is take care of the people you love. Help them when you can and support them in any way you can think of through good times and bad. Reach out to those who are not strong enough to ask for your help. Find a community cause or become involved in outreach work. Help find a better way to reach addicts, ALL addicts. But don't waste your time worrying about Amy Winehouse or any of the other people who have their own circle of friends who should take care of them. Take care of your people and let celebrities choose their circle of influence. Your job is not responsible for your drug habit, alcohol problem or anything else. Everyone feels pressure. Love your family and friends and those who don't have people, use your energy in a good and positive way towards people you can make a difference with. Reach out to those in need, you can find them anywhere but let the TV screen people take care of themselves...they have the resources. Use this death as a reminder to care for your circle, grow your circle and give back to those who suffer with no one helping.

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