Amy Winehouse, Russel Brand and Addiction
You may have heard, singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her apartment, July 23rd, 2011, died allegedly as a result of a drug overdose. When celebrities die or are in the news in connection to the harmful effects of drugs it raises awareness for a short time, but addiction is pervasive running across cultures, socioeconomics, gender, and religion. Some might argue that when people are in the midst of their addictive cycles they are like the walking dead, hardly ever able to be present to this life as it is.
Rising film star Russel Brand has been sober since 2002 and was friends with Winehouse. In a blog post he said it almost perfectly:
“All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they're not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50 pence for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his 'speedboat,' there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they're looking through you to somewhere else they'd rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anesthetize the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief."
It’s almost impossible to be here for this life when a good portion of your mind is looking off into the distance to be somewhere else.
The danger of addiction isn’t just the deaths we hear about, as tragic as they are, it’s about the living dead.
Although it’s extremely hard to “wake up” when your brain is focused on the next fix, there are ways to begin connecting back to life. The first may be actually learning how to “be with” the feelings of urges and impulses that are so automatically avoided. See “urge surfing.”
The second may be looking around and seeing who you’re surrounding yourself with. Probably the #1 way to break free from old habitual patterns that are unhealthy is to stop surrounding yourself with people who reinforce or trigger for that habit. Find new groups of people that can be supports for a healthier community and a healthier life.
This life is too short to live on auto-pilot.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.