Amy Winehouse's death has hit me harder than it should have.
Like Ms. Winehouse, my friend has/had addiction problems--mostly alcohol but also, in the past, cocaine and possibly prescription meds. Like Amy, my friend also has/had eating disorders, depressive episodes, and dental concerns. Both ladies wear/wore too much makeup, have/had terrible taste in (and luck with) men, and are/were hot messes.
And, from everything I've read about Ms. Winehouse, both were/are interesting, smart, funny, crazy, charismatic, and loyal.
The reason I was freaking out about Ms. Winehouse's death only became clear to me upon reading British comedian/actor Russell Brand's touching words about his friend's death. When I read this passage, my brain buzzed and my heart ached:
"When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it’s too late, she’s gone."
I have received this call before--many calls, actually. They've not been of the "I've had enough" variety, nor the "She's gone" sort, but more like: "She hasn't shown up for work in days," "Hi, I'm in the hospital," "I want to die," "I've been throwing up all day," or "I really need a drink."
Years have passed. My friend has been getting help for at least a decade now, yet the self-destructive behavior continues. It's not nearly as bad as when we were young and stupid, but how much more can her weak and broken body take?
I do expect to receive the "She's gone" call one day. I only hope it's not for many, many years to come.