they tried to make her go to rehab … rip amy winehouse and others.

my love affair with twitter ended over the weekend. you might laugh, but seriously, since i joined twitter a few years ago I have had positive experiences. thats not to say i was naive enough not to think that people spouted whatever they wanted to on their feeds. however, this weekend when the news was bought that amy winehouse had passed away, it also bought a host of tweets and retweets that i found so sad to read. sad to see and be so aware of the lack of sympathy/knowledge/empathy that the life of a relatively young person, in fact, in the same age range as i am, is dead.

I am aware that some people may say, and have already been saying ‘but there are more important things happening in the world …’ well, its true that there are OTHER things happening in the world, but when did we as humans become limited to only caring about and being sad for one thing at a time? surely we have enough heart in us to be able to express emotion on alsorts at one time?  people are suggesting that tweeting/news outriding the Norway attacks meant that people dont care about the horrific tragic events in that country also over the weekend. I beg to differ. I’d like to suggest that the norway incidences had been in the news long before the breaking new of any winehouse’s death was. however, since when did it become a competition? just because someone has tweeted a ‘sadness’ about the death of such a talented yet troubled person does not mean they dont care about africa/somalia, norway, hackgate or anything else thats been thrown out there.

there has been some vitriol out there the last few days. which has been so sad to read. and its tempted to me to blog my self on this topic. and as always, as i start to write i give you a disclaimer. i tell you i am not a professional, i have no qualifications and do not profess to have some ‘important’ view that people should listen to. I dont.

what i do offer, and what most of my writing does come from, is the experience of life. and of that i seem to have plenty. so i am told anyway. the experience of having a family member affected by the demon that is drug and alcohol abuse. i write from the experience of growing up around it, being surrounded by it, and having some of the days of my life that were supposed to be happy ones, unhappy. i write of the experience of the ‘phone call’ that russell brand was so eloquently writing about in his blog article today. the phone call you spend your life expecting, hoping that it is from the person themselves begging for help, wanting help to turn their life around, but mostly it being phone calls of devastation when you are told that person is n o longer alive. For me, so far the phone calls we have had are ones that have turned our ives upside down, the ones from the person who wants money, has no food, gets abusive, or calls to say he has been arrested/in hospital or the various other ones that have happened. It hasnt yet been the one to say they have died … but you spend your life expecting it.

so, i am sure when mitch winehouse and his family received ‘that phonecall’ although it was a shock because who would have expected it that particular time and day … maybe it was not so unexpected. it definitely wasnt in the public despite some peoples reactions. because drug and alcohol addiction is a killer. assuming thats what she has died of. because of course, as of yet, no one is quite sure, are they as no cause has been released? it would be fair to suspect it is very highly that drugs played a part however.

despite the horrible tweets i have read, i have also been humbled by others, for example @lesanto who is a local ish person to me, who i have yet to meet sadly, but who has also lived the life of waiting for ‘that phonecall’ and sadly who did receive it, the final one, to tell him the sad news of the death of his young son. do check out his twitter account @lesanto as he does have something to say on it all, and he knows.

as usual, i started out with an idea of what i wanted to write on this blog, and it seems to have changed as i ramble on. but i guess what i really wanted to suggest/ask/plead for is some compassion. some empathy. and for people who have no idea about it to stop being so callous and to maybe speak to people who have first hand experience.

amy winehouse did not deserve to die. personally i believe she was unwell. as unwell as someone with a mental health illness, or someone who has broken their leg and who needed crutches. who knows why she was so unwell. some one on facebook suggested it was because of her ‘poor background and upbringing’. that tends to often be a response doesnt it … the ‘oh she didnt have a chance’ but as far as i have read, she didnt have that poor an upbringing. she got through stage school didnt she? now i am not professing to know much about her background, but i think its a pretty poor show when it is assumed that someone is an addict ‘just because of their upbringing’. i am sure many people would back me up on disputing that.

as i have written before, about mental health illness being so indiscrimate, i truly believe addiction can affect anyone also, and anytime for any reason. the rich, the poor, the common, the posh, the black, the white, the famous, the every day guy, the employed, the unemployed, married, single, loved, unloved. it can hit anyone.

and it is not just the person who it ruins the life of. its the mothers, the fathers, the sisters, the brothers, the friends.

the people who are there for every minute of the trauma, the people who are there to take the abuse often, or to desperately try and get them into rehabs, help, support, the people who pick up the pieces every time, the people who dearly love them, but who wake up every day wondering if this will be the day when it all ends.

some tweets suggest that, for example, no one cared about amy winehouse. i dont think that could be further from the truth. as her song would suggest, they did try to make her go to rehab. and she did actually. but it just wasnt meant to be.

a few years ago my mother told me about the time she sent my older brother off to a different country for a ‘backpacking’ time. some would suggest that was a bad decision, but she was at the end of her tether. not getting any help or support from anywhere, no funds for rehab, no funds for anything really, despite pleading, and someone in a different country who could look out for him. it was a gamble, he would either go out there and make the most of it, or he wouldnt. my mother waved him off at the air port, and expected to never see him again. we are lucky, we did see him again. and do see him again. but there often isnt a day that goes by where we/i wonder if we will get ‘that phone call’.

there is so much more i could write about the effects of drusg and alcohol on a person, and on a family, but it would turn into an essay which isnt what i want.

one of the twitter responses of late has been ‘they should just kick the habit’ … which is said by people who truly have no understanding of ‘the habit’ or just quite how it affects life/lives.

i think what i want is to ask people to have some more compassion for those who have such broken and hurting lives for whatever reason. please. and to not publish comments that are hurtful when you know nothing abotut what you talk about.

RIP Amy Winehouse, Nimai Le Santo and all the other victims of substance abuse, and thoughts and prayers with those and families suffering from it today x


19 thoughts on “they tried to make her go to rehab … rip amy winehouse and others.

  1. What a great post on reminding us to be more compassionate towards others. I think that the end result of all great tragedies whether to an individual or to many numbers of individuals is to look inside each of us to find the compassion that we need to feel for others and for ourselves. Compassion is a big element of love that some of us just don’t seem to have enough of. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. Anyone who tells you to just get over an addiction has never had one.

  2. quite right.
    it is easy for people ‘on the outside’ to say ‘just stop’. if only it was as easy to do.
    i am sorry for the loss of a talented musician but also for the loss of a young girl who should have had years ahead of her.
    i recall, many years ago, the death of paul kossoff, a beautiful, talented young man lost at a similar age, in much the same way.

    thank you for your blog.

  3. …very well thought out, considerate and loving post! So much of what you said I identify with; I think the one word you used sums it up perfectly for me and that word is Trauma…Alcohol and Drug Addiction is so completely and totally demoralizing that it leaves everyone in its path traumatized!

    I’ve been sober since 10/21/01…I sneaked and took my 1st drink when I was 13 years old outside the skating rink; it was fun. I am not sure but at some point drink and drug took me! Addiction takes you mentally, physically and spiritually and it becomes impossible to quit. Most people are clueless about the malady…I think your willingness to understand is commendable!

    Getting Sober was the single most physically painful thing I’ve done to date and I’ve experienced natural childbirth. I am so grateful to be living a life of sobriety…getting sober and living sober are so vastly different sometimes a person literally cannot GET SOBER it is so mentally and physically painful that your mind and body keep telling you to do it just one more time…it is nearly impossible to get sober long enough to ever, ever live sober. It took me 9 grueling months to ‘get sober’.

    I lost the power of choice!

    My greatest gift from getting sober was gaining back my power of choice…today I am living a life of sobriety ~I have the power of Choice.

    • Amy… wow… well done, only you really know how hard it really was… and probably still is.
      respect and admiration for your courage and tenacity.

    • Hi Amy
      thanks for stopping by, reading and taking the time to respond, especially to be so open too. Thankyou for sharing some of your story!
      I’m so pleased to hear how you are doing.
      take care
      fragz x

      • you’re welcome. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you.

        It literally has taken years to reach a point of openness…work in progress :)…I am so incredibly grateful that I am in a position to be open about being sober; that is not the case for everyone.

  4. I saw some of those tweets you mention..I was sick reading tweets..statuses on facebook etc…I was thrown back at the cruelness in people…whatever their personal opinion is of this young lady the fact remains she was a human being ..and that human being had a struggle…and that human being no longer has life…and that is sad…all I pray is that Amy Winehouse has found rest and peace…and I pray for her loved ones that are now grieving a life they loved….thank you for this post…As always…XOXOXOXO

  5. I was one of the ones infact talking about the “bigger issues” in the world, not because I don’t care about Amy Winehouse and nor because I don’t understand the drugs thing or mental issues more because I’m sick of people turning a blind eye to such bigger problems, and yet there being such an out pouring for Amy.
    I’m not saying no-one tweeting about Olso, Africa or anything like that – but on the whole the public pay more attention to Amy.
    Of course she’s more well known, more familiar, closer to home but by God it irks me when 100’s of people die each day and those same people don’t bat and eyelid.

    Amy sadly, well and truly had problems as well as an addiction. She’s one of many that never found the will power, strength or reason strong enough to urge them to quit.

  6. Very well put fragmentz. I have seen addiction close up in my working life. It is hard, nasty and horrible. I am upset for the loss of Amy Winehouse, but I am equally upset for the loss of anyone through addiction, all who have unique talents to give to the world. Addiction really does affect anyone, and it has a tendency to creep up on you. If the daily deaths of all addicts made frontline news every day, then maybe attitudes would change and these people wouldn’t be seen as just “junkies” swept under the carpet and forgotten, but treasured individuals who need as much help as kiddies with cancer or an old lady with a broken hip. It is so easy to apportion blame for Amy Winehouse’s death onto Amy herself and wash our hands of any social responsibility.

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