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I’ve taken my time and thought about the life and death of Amy Winehouse. I read interesting views by Russell Brand, and I read a lot of people on Facebook basically wishing her a good riddance. I was going back and forth about how or if I wanted to respond to this article that I wrote about her a few years ago. Unfortunately, my fear back then became a reality and Winehouse lost her life at the popular rock age of 27 on July 23rd, 2011.

However, Winehouse was not the only subject I wrote about in that article, but also Britney Spears. Looking back on it, I was pretty harsh towards Spears. “If I wake up tomorrow and read that Britney Spears killed herself or overdosed, I probably wouldn’t even finish the article. She’s just another over-rated junkie in my eyes,” I wrote.

Before I re-read my article, I had been in an argument with a friend who, when we heard about the news of Winehouse’s death, was less than compassionate for her; basically how I was towards Spears in my article. His thoughts were that junkies die every day and that Winehouse wasn’t special, and really, who cares that she died? He also admitted that he didn’t find Winehouse to be overly talented.

My thoughts were that Winehouse was a human being and an addict that didn’t make it to sobriety. I also stated that I felt like she was a talented singer and that her loss was a shame for the music world.

One reason I’m surprised about what I wrote about Spears is because I understand addiction and I’ve seen it raise its ugly head many times in my life, yet I wasn’t very compassionate towards her. I understand how addicts think. It makes sense to me why they do the things that they do. To me, any addict that dies from what I call their disease (and not their choice as some would say), well that is a tragedy. To me, it’s not just “one less bum” on the streets.

They didn’t make it.

There comes a point in each severe addict’s life where getting high is no longer for the effect of feeling high and out of themselves for a while. At a certain point, the tables flip and the only way the addict feels good (like how most people feel on a normal day; just calm) is to take their substance. Until they do that, they are shaky, moody, sweaty, have headaches; miserable. So it only makes sense for them to do something that makes them feel “good.” Right? Especially if it’s cheap and easy to access instead of costing thousands of dollars that they might not have, or by using insurance benefits that they often can’t afford.

On the other hand, I’m not surprised at what I wrote simply because I’m not a fan of Spears’ music; I still think she lacks talent, and honestly I’m just not interested in her or her life. I was a huge fan of Amy Winehouse’s voice and thought that her lyrics that practically mirrored her life on the album Back to Black were brilliant. I had interest in her and her life.

It’s not a news flash that people will have more vested feelings towards people they care about or have interest in. I would care more if one of my family members passed away compared to Amy Winehouse. That’s pretty normal for most people.

But the important thing to remember is that any addict that dies from their disease is still a human being: A mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc. They are people and I think deep down, most of us really only want happiness and a safe life for each other. Or at least that’s how it should be.

Perhaps I should have phrased my thoughts a little different about Britney Spears back in 2008, or perhaps I’m just maturing and growing more compassion for humans as I age. I suppose the realization of both of those things are positive.

I would like to officially apologize to Britney Spears for the harsh things that I said about her back in that article in 2008 about her well being and her addiction. I wish no harm towards her and I’m glad to see that it appears her life has turned around. I do, however, still think she is over-rated and not a talented musician. As for Winehouse, I’m glad that her suffering is now over, though I would have liked for her suffering to have ended in a much different way. I’m glad her songs will be around much longer than she was alive.



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