When former First Lady Betty Ford sought treatment for addiction to painkillers and alcohol, she realized that she was making a choice to seek help. Several weeks ago, she was remembered at her funeral as someone who helped others seek help in their own addictions and battles against substance abuse of all kinds. Ford understood that it is a journey, not a shortcut, to use the tools to keep from falling off the cliffs again.
All too common these days, in the entertainment world, celebrities who check into rehab tend to look for a 30-day quick fix, so that they can resume their already chaotic lives. The problem is, there is no such thing as a quick fix and it is a choice if that person wants to get their lives back in order.
Yes, a choice.
Today’s death of British pop singer Amy Winehouse, nevertheless unfortunate and somewhat not surprising, is another sad reminder that in order to change our own personal circumstances and environment, we have to make a choice to do it. It is also vital that we have support around us, to encourage us, to tell us what we ‘need’ to hear, not ‘want’ to hear, and to help us gain clarity as we move forward in our lives.
I don’t know if her parents, friends, entourage, or others around her have tried to helped her. If they did, they shouldn’t blame themselves. Nor do I know if Winehouse herself realized that she needed more than seeking treatment to get off of the bottle and drugs. It was evident from the start of her rise that she was heading down in a spiral that could destroy her.
It is maddening to see talented people, and average John and Jane Doe, waste their lives by not making a choice to cut out what is holding them back. In the case of Winehouse, the inability to stay away from alcohol and substance abuse may have been a choice that resulted in the news that we dreaded to hear, but not surprising at all to receive.