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Monday, February 13, 2012

Ignorant Stereo-Typing

I typically don't use this blog to editorialize or worse yet MORALIZE but I suppose that is kind of what I am going to do right now. Considering the subject, I know ahead of time that folks are going to say that I am being defensive, that I am defending a drug addict because I am one myself (though I've been in recovery nearly 6 years). If that is the case then so be it. I can take it, I've been called worse. 

Because what bothers me even more is when old stereotypes from the past are dredged up by the ignorant and used to judge people they really never could understand.

What I'm talking about here is the whole discussion that is accompanying the death of Whitney Houston. It seems there are two distinct camps, on each end of the spectrum that are talking about her here and I couldn't personally agree with either one of them LESS! Both are stereotyping, emotional not factual and have an agenda to sell...

First, there are those that are trying to make her perfect in death when the truth is she was anything BUT perfect. No doubt she had the voice of an angel and her sing talent was a gift and indeed a rare one at that. But it isn't unusual to deify a popular and talented person in death, in fact it happens all the time. In this day and age of 24/7 media gets taken way to far. 

The timing of her death was even more unfortunate because the GRAMMY Awards were the following night and they became one big celebration of her life. that in itself isn't a bad thing but unfortunately what was missed there was the true tragedy of her death. She died a practicing addict/alcoholic and trust me I have buried enough of them in my time, many close friends so trust me: there ain't NOTHING glorious about dying a junkie.

The even more troubling point of view though, is taken by the other vocal contingency out there who wants to disgrace and discredit everything she did solely because she is an addict/alcoholic. This is not only sad but it is ignorant. Look up the facts folks. Whether you want to believe addiction/alcoholism is some moral weakness or lack of will power the facts are that in the early 1950's the American Medical Association came to the conclusion that alcoholism/addiction is a DISEASE. 

Yep, a disease just like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and many others. The people who have it didn't choose it, don't want it or do anything to get it or make it worse. All they did was have a drink just like millions of of people do. The difference is once a person who has alcoholism/addiction drinks (and yes folks, alcohol is a DRUG) they have no control over the compulsion to drink or use more. Something in the chemical makeup of their physical being changes and they cannot stop. Now you can try and debate me about this but hey, that isn't my's the AMA's.

Being an alcoholic/addict in recovery, I have at various times debated the question of it being a disease myself but I really believe it is true.

Whitney Houston had a disease, she was sick and her disease killed her...this does not mean that what happened to her is OK or should be overlooked or celebrated. It should not...addiction is ugly and it is a KILLER of people...any kind of people. It effects people of every walk of life and has nothing to do with a persons intelligence, financial status, will or moral integrity...there is quite a bit of evidence that it is hereditary as well.

So I wish the people who are standing up and acting so holier then thou by saying she was worthless, weak and discrediting everything she was doing would wise up....not everyone is PERFECT like you folks are! 

Seriously, get the facts straight....this is sad and a lesson to all. How many of us have laughed at a friend who often drinks too much and acts the fool and have blown it off thinking he is just relieving some stress. It could be that they are alcoholic and headed down the same tragic path. I drank pretty normally for 20 years before things got as bad as they did, I made a fortune, raised kids, had wonderful homes, traveled everywhere...I pretty much lived an ideal life doing pretty much everything a person could want. But the progression of my disease continued to get worse, I started losing the ability to function normally the way I did and I nearly died before I got help. 

Again...I am not defending her...she had numerous opportunities to get help and indeed had been in treatment centers herself several times. She just couldn't surrender and accept what she addict. I know from experience that NO ONE gets clean/sober without surrendering to the fact they are powerless and need HELP. There are some clowns out in Malibu that have different ideas about this and maybe a couple a hundred or so folks have changed because of their philosophies. On the other hand MILLIONS of people have stayed sober because they have surrendered and found a guiding force for their life through some life changing principals and finding God.

Not only did I find sobriety but I found an incredible way of living as well....She had just as many opportunities to stop and find the LORD as I did. Why didn't it happen? I don't know...I can't say except that in this life people die and sometimes it seems so unnecessary but such is life.

So yea, let's be honest about Whitney Houston...She had the voice of an ANGEL and was a fantastic, even historic singer. But she was also a human being, flawed and vulnerable who had a life threatening disease that went untreated and she died because of it. She was no hero or role model except perhaps in reverse...she showed people what they SHOULDN'T do if they happen to have a problem with drinking, etc.

My sincere hope is that despite all her troubles, pain and heartache Whitney found the LORD and invited him into her life. Then whatever ever happened here on earth no longer matters as our God will fold his hands gently around her and bring her home. 

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