The worst thing you can do for a person is pretend that they’re fine when they’re not. Pretending that there isn’t a problem when there is won’t magically fix anything anymore than pretending your house is not on fire while your kitchen is ablaze won’t save your curtains from bursting into flames.
Let me make one thing clear: everyone here at PopBytes, including myself, adored Amy Winehouse. We really did. I still remember buying Back to Black during the spring of 2007 and listening to the title track on repeat until it was the most played song on my iPod. Like many, Amy’s charm, talent and persona won me over.
But unfortunately, Amy did have a massive drinking and drug problem. We can’t deny that. To her friends and family who made the honest effort to help her: you did the best you could, and there’s no shame in that. Unfortunately, this was something that only Amy could choose to fight. Unfortunately, she didn’t.
I’m not going to absolve Amy of her responsibility just because I liked her, or because she had talent: she had every opportunity to heal herself, but she didn’t. I do feel sorry for her, and I hope that wherever she is, she’s happy, but fact of the matter is, she could have fought and she didn’t. She was not helpless against her addictions. No one is. She just chose not to fight.
As I said, pretending someone is fine when they’re not is not going to help them. If you love someone and they suffer from an addiction, it’s your duty to encourage them to take the necessary steps to fight the addiction. Did we criticize Amy for her drunken antics? Of course. We cheered for her when she triumphed, and we chastised her when she gave in. That’s because we wanted her to triumph, rather than give in.
If you take away nothing else, just remember: you can’t fight someone’s addictions for them. All you can do is encourage them to behave responsibly and take care of themselves.