Not too long ago British actor and comedian Russell Brand penned his own memoir entitled: My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up. For a while habitual drug use threatened to derail Brand’s aspirations, the same way it threatened and ultimately did end grammy winning singer Amy Winehouse’s. Around 2003, Brand and Winhouse became friends, and now that she is gone Brand has taken it upon himself to make sure the lessons of her downfall don’t go unlearned.
Immediately after Winehouse’s death Brand wrote a very moving post on his blog. I would choose to quote every word of it if I could, but the first paragraph is what stands out the most. In it, Brand explains the role a friend plays to someone suffering from addiction, and the intense worry and anxiety that comes with that role:
“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.”
Brand offers extraordinary insight into what sort of demons Winehouse was facing, writing, “All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them…The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.”
The full post can be read at this link. Many other comedians have also shared their story of addiction, including most recently Artie Lange, who left a Florida rehab center earlier this year.
In 2008 I wrote an article pleading for people to take it easy on Winehouse, who’s personal problems became the fodder of entertainment media. I hope going forward society realizes it can’t take shots at drug- addicted celebrities just because they’re celebrities.
Now that Winehouse is gone, she will be truly missed.
About the Author: Majority owner of AmericasComedy.Com. Grateful and blessed. Google me!