We were away this weekend and while there I heard the news that Whitney Houston had died.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill.
Immediately my thoughts went to her daughter and her family, I began praying that God would help them through this difficult period.
Whitney Houston hasn’t entered my thoughts in years. I used to love her music and I still think she’s one of the most talented voices I’ve ever heard but I haven’t heard anything from her in years. I write this only to provide some background for my perspective.
Once I was able to log onto Facebook from our hotel room, I was honestly shocked to see some status updates within my stream. I’m sure you’ve seen the same within yours but seriously who the heck follows “Sober Julie” and then writes such updates as:
“RIP Whitney – too bad you chose drugs over your kid”
That’s simply one I can scroll to today, a full 24 hours since she died and there’s still trash scrolling down the page.
Why, why do we feel the need to point a finger on such a public forum, don’t people realize what they type leaves a lasting impression?
Possibly, perhaps they don’t care. Could it really be this black and white to these people?
Yup it can.
If we put aside the fact the cause of death hasn’t been determined, let alone announced and assume it’s an addiction related death does it then qualify such judgmental status updates as appropriate?
All too often we hear this, normally it’s not about a celebrity it’s a normal Joe from the world around us who succumbs to alcoholism or drugs. People are left angry and unable to understand why someone would allow themselves to fall this far under the spell of these addictions.
How many times have I heard people ask “Why can’t they just stop?”
Too many times.
Getting clean is not easy and it’s difficult to explain in terms people can grasp why we addicts don’t simply stop using.
Suffice it to say people lost in active addiction can’t see that it’s possible to stop. Their brains are compromised by the drugs and alcohol and the driving force in their lives has become the thing which is killing them.
There is hope, there are many programs and medical professionals who can help but truly the addict has to want it.
This person whose perspective, behavior and decisions are altered has to find a way through the haze to WANT to LIVE.
It doesn’t end there, they have to suffer, to truly feel pain and struggle to get through becoming sober.
Then once they’re sober they have to continuously reject their deepest desire, one that’s on a base level….a constant pull to their past Idol which is what drugs and booze become to many of us.
It was once our life force and it never stops, it merely becomes quieter as we recover. Addicts are constantly in a battle to save their own lives, we cannot become complacent and we know this.
When we have been sober for a while many of us are blessed to realize there is a spiritual solution, we find God and begin to understand how wonderful this life is even with the struggles. We see that we can overcome our disease, one day at a time.
Image credit: Whitney Houston: Ida Mae Astute
“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
Relapse rates for addictive diseases do not differ significantly from rates for other chronic diseases. Relapse rates for addictive diseases range from 50 percent for resumption of heavy use to 90 percent for a brief lapse depending on which reports you’re reading.
Is the person “weak” or is the disease strong?
To those who choose to stand in judgement I wish I could say you anger me, the fact is that it makes me sad that people don’t understand the disease of addiction.
Personally I’ll be morning the death of a woman who is a mother, friend and talented artist. Hopefully through all of the media coverage people will become more aware of addictions and educate themselves.
To Judgy McJudgerson: I’ll be praying for you…..and will do my best to stop myself from ranting about your small mindedness.
If you have a friend or family member you’re concerned about there are thousands of resources listed on the internet, go Google addiction services in your area, call a 12 Step phone number listed in your newspaper or see your GP.