Strained Relations

Strained Relations: Help for Struggling Parents of Troubled Teens

Amy Winehouse Was Once a Little Girl

Posted by Marcia on July 25, 2011

Please note I am now primarily posting at Strained Relations: Parenting Troubled Teens. You’ll find all of the content you have sought on this blog. Please follow me over there.

Thank you,

Marcia

 

It’s well-documented and much too familiar. A creative, talented singer with drug and alcohol problems, in and out of rehab and then dead at 27. We all saw it coming but it’s still shocking.

She was once a little girl, wanted and loved and singing with her father at home. If you’re reading this blog, you likely know the experience of being with a child, holding him or her, reading and singing songs and playing together.

Even when you don’t know that that child will do in life, you want him or her to have a successful life, meaning being kind, happy and fulfilled, self-supporting and generous to others. You want that child to navigate safely through tempting and possibly dangerous situations.

In Amy’s case, according to Wikipedia, she was constantly singing and the teachers had a hard time keeping her quiet. When she was nine years old, her grandmother suggested she attend a theatre school. She was allegedly expelled at age 14 for “not applying herself” and getting her nose pierced.
I’m not sure when or why she started using and abusing drugs and alcohol, maybe in those early teen years, but it took over her life.

A couple of years ago, her father tried asking people not to go to her concerts, hoping that if the concerts were cancelled, she would hit bottom and go to rehab. It wasn’t in the interests of anyone else involved in her career (such as her record company, manager, agent and PR person) for her to miss concerts. They had a financial interest in her carrying on, even though it was clearly dangerous for her.

It was a desperate move from a distraught parent. It’s hard seeing someone you love go through personal difficulties of this magnitude.

Before I heard the news of her death, I had been listening to one of her songs and wondering what was happening to her. She was falling apart on her tours from all reports and it seemed evident she was in serious trouble again. The end of this story for Amy and her family is tragic. For some of the people who’ve read my book and read this blog, this event hits too close to home.

If you have someone in your life that is abusing drugs and/or alcohol, these things can’t be wished away. That person has to want to change, has to put in a lot of hard work and ongoing efforts such as going to meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous.

For family members, support, information and help is available through Al-Anon, based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I encourage you to learn about these groups and other options and gather the courage to attend.

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4 Responses to “Amy Winehouse Was Once a Little Girl”

  1. Fern Weis said

    Marcia, thanks for putting a little girl’s face back into the picture of Amy Winehouse. She was once a happy child, and she was someone’s child. So heartbreaking. It’s all too easy to sit in judgment of people who crash and burn in the struggle to cope with their talents and fame.

    I have a wish for your readers who may be facing deteriorating behaviors and/or substance abuse in their family — Don’t sit back feeling helpless, hoping that things will get better. Take action. Ask for help. IT IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH TO ASK FOR HELP. While it is difficult to take that step, admit the problem, and go into the unknown, it is far more devastating, and potentially fatal, to do nothing. Let go of the image you had for your family and your child’s future. Let go of embarrassment. There is a world of resources for you. Use them.

    Fern Weis
    Parent Coach, Teacher, and
    grateful parent of a child in recovery

  2. Marek Helstrom said

    A very cogent and appropriate writing on a subject that so many parents have faced and/or are facing!!! Thank you!

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