Tuesday, 26 July 2011


I have to say this in the wake of Amy Winehouses death and the fact that people are leaving bottles of vodka and cigarettes at her shrine.

I wish that the public perception of addiction was correct. That people understood it is not lack of will power, but a disease as powerful and dibilitating as any other potentially terminal disease. It is a disease not just of the physical body but also of the emotional and the spiritual.

HOWEVER - i feel i have to accept that the world at large will never truly understand this - and why would they need to? Those of us in recovery from addiction understand because our lives depend on it. It is like trying to explain to someone who has never had cancer what having cancer is like, or diabetes, or a heart condition. unless you have it, it is impossible to understand. And i have to accept that we as a society in general (not all), will always slow down to look at a terrible and fatal car crash. Rock and Roll - and i am qualified to talk about this - is about music, LIVING, expression of the spirit, sharing, allowing yourself to be free. It is NOT about killing oneself with addiction, dying young, club 27 give me a fucking break. leaving alcohol at a young girls shrine, is like leaving a jar with mini tumours at the grave of someone who died from cancer. It is a sad day. IM afraid i will have to hand this one over to God and thank him that i found recovery from a fatal disease that only perhaps 5% of addicts ever are blessed enough to find.


  1. Sadly, the media seems to have taken this 'club 27' a friend was just complaining about it and what do you know, the local paper had a full page on that stuff. Ridiculous. It's a bit of a disgusting thing that the illness and personal tragedy is glorified, both by the media and by the public when it's to do with rock and roll particularly. You describe rock and roll, and music, so brilliantly here, and those attitudes are completely contradictory to that spirit. At the same time, the attitudes deny Amy Winehouse or others who died young their humanity. I mean, would anyone leave bottles of vodka at the grave of a family member who suffered from alcoholism and didn't find recovery? I don't think so. It's as if Amy Winehouse's problems were somehow part of her character that can now be eulogised.

    But I am so glad that you found recovery and are still with us.

    I've been thinking about a different thing: heroism. When the massacre in Norway started, Hege Dalen and her partner Toril Hansen were camping on the opposite shore from the Utoya island. They took their boat and saved 40 kids, literally in a rain of bullets (as the kids who were trying to escape by swimming were being shot at). Many private individuals acted similarly. That is real and true heroism.

  2. I never really understood why people leave things and setup shrines where people die. Especially when none of them even know her. Seems self serving and flaky. Of course the media only fans the fire by looking for the sensationalism in the tragedy.
    Thanks for the perspective and insight Rachel.

  3. Many people do understand it. I find peace in the following paragraph, as many in recovery do:

    "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life —unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concen- trate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes." pg. 417.

    Peace, Garrett L.

  4. I like what you wrote here Rachel, having many friends dealing with cancer - it really hit home in a new way.

  5. I agree with you Rachel, that is is not appropriate to leave such items in rememberance. It's just wrong beyond words.

    "God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference. "

  6. I completely and to my bones agree, Rachel ray-ray. My heart is here. I in fact had a dream the other night (could have been last night) where I was wanting to escape how trapped I feel in my life and so in the dream, over twenty years since feeding my addiction, I returned to it.

    Experiencing cancer, also, I know that if the ugly c returns I am exceptionally positioned to going the path of that dream. Although for me it has been just over 20 years (*just*), I know that once a person is an addict they are always. I know this.

    I am sorry to seem graphic and even self involved. I did have a dream and I know I had the dream because of the images I saw (bottles of vodka and wine left at Amy's house). I know that's why. I know why my heart sank for her, and it did.

    On having an addiction, I swear on the broken arm I have not broken (knock on wood), if I had broken my arm (folks) then forever I broke my arm (get it?).

    There's no taking it away.

    Whoever left those, what can I say. They cannot be addicts or maybe they are, maybe they're pleading for themselves versus recognizing the senselessness.

  7. So well said, Rachel. You are a strong and very wise woman.

  8. Hola Rachel,

    Yes, I thought it was very sad when I saw the images, but I hope that the people who are leaving alcohol and cigarettes are a minority, and the most of her fans probably agree with you. Otherwise the world would be too cruel.

    I'm glad that you found recovery. I guess it was really hard, so you should be very proud of yourself.

  9. Very well written post Rachel...It's hard to realize that people just don't get it. Those who have had first hand experience know...and even then it's hard for loved ones to realize what a cunning disease this is. My husband is sober 22 years and still his demons mess with him..you and Pete are of the lucky ones..In NNC..they often have a moment of silence...for the still suffering addicts out there....at many meetings..

  10. I agree with you Rachel. What a shame people feel the need to leave something such as booze at a shrine and memorial area. Candles and cards and stuff animals, crosses yes but booze or stuff that represents drinking that is just so wrong. What a shame. It is sad.

  11. Sorry that was stuffed Animals. Not stuff.

  12. I'm a 5%'er.You are spot on.God bless you and happy belated birthday.Tis love brings us here.Thanks.

  13. I wish you and Pete would get out in front on this issue. We in the Who family have all been touched by this disease. Your words have power.

  14. Thanks for this Rachel. It needs to be said!

  15. I agree with you on all points, Rachel. Addiction lays waste talent-and lives.

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  17. It's the hypocrisy of the UK media over her death that gets on my tits !

    Anyway, I haven't been here in ages as I thought blogging was old hat and everyone was on Facebook and Twitter now.

    Kenny Freed

  18. I think people leave things just to make a statement of a bond.Hey I connected with you and felt the same way.Rock and Roll and music is about feeling.We are all addicted either to Love,Fame ,chocolate,beer,ego,etc.etc.And music is a reflection of that too.By the way your Peeps miss you over @ Facebook

  19. Flippin idiots.

    Many congrats on being one of the 5%. A testimony to your healthy body, mind and spirit.


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