Sunday, July 24, 2011
Death of a Young Person
I am writing about Amy Winehouse who was found dead at the age of 27. Like so many people I have read stories about her from time to time about her battles with alcoholism and drug addiction. Different journalists said it was expected, but I did not expect her death. I had hoped she would somehow find her way out of the black hole she had found herself in. I am not really writing about Winehouse who seemed genuinely talented and gifted musically but about all of the young people who leave this planet too early. I am very sad for them.
I remember being that age. I had issues from childhood that were very real to me then, and I am not writing to second guess Winehouse's issues for I have no idea what they were. I just know those issues from my childhood had a strong hook into my life. I had no children and no reason to live except the sense of optimism that somehow I could escape the grasp of that nightmare and find something better which I did. Death did look good to me at times, but not enough to actually open one of the many doors that led to that place for many of my friends were into drug and alcoholism which I knew led there. My own brother went through that door and died at an early death.
I had more friends in those years than I do now. I had more lovers then too. I fell in and out of love more than several times but only one or two times actually stayed for good in my heart. One of them recently passed away. In those days, my parents were alive and in the throes of their misery too. Friends were alive that are now dead. Everyone I knew were trying to find a form of happiness and so few found it. I did not know very much but I knew happiness did not come out of a bottle or out of a needle or powder. I knew it because my father was an alcoholic. My brother was one as well as my sister.
I guess I am sad because so many young people walk down the hallway and open doors that look good on the outside but are deadly to use such as drugs and alcohol. I am not saying that had anything to do with Winehouse's death. But it did not help her with her life. I know I looked at alcohol with longing for it gave me some moments of forgetfulness when I did drink. It numbed the memories which seemed so horrible and abhorrent that I wanted those moments of peace. I saw what happened to my father when he crawled back to sobriety from a night of drinking and all of the unhappiness that resulted. I wanted no part of that. I said no to that and I guess I did not inherit the propensity for alcoholism as my brother and sister did. I lucked out.
I don't know why I survived and why so many in my past did not. I remember talking to my brother who I got along well. I told him that he needed to get some help. He was a Viet Nam veteran and the VA was of no use then. They did not care about him and just ignored him after they gave him a check every month. He was homeless. He could not stay in an apartment. I did not know about AA then. He did and it helped him from time to time but his shadows were too dark, too deep and they swallowed him up in the end.
It is said we are our own best friends. I know this is true. My brother never made friends with himself. I know my own father hated himself too as my mother hated herself. It took long hard years for me to make friends with myself, but at the age of 27 I was not my best friend. I would alternately like and hate me too. I did not want to know me too much as much as I wanted to change me into someone I would like so the war raged for years. I ended up calling the war off. That did not happen until I was older and probably wiser.
The Dalai Lama said that so many people he has met in the West hate themselves. He said he was astonished by this. I also met so many students as a teacher who did not trust themselves as writers and that is the first thing that Natalie Goldberg writes in her book to writers they must do and that is trust themselves. Trusting oneself and loving oneself is really the same thing. I know that was a hard lesson for me to learn and as a senior I am still learning it.
As a young person at the age of 27 years, I did not know it at all. I wish I did for I would have had a better life than I did. At that age, I had a rough life and it was made worse because I did it to myself. I gave myself a worse time than what was happening. Granted it was not pleasant but it would not have been so bad. It was good too as my children were born then. Their births and the births of my grandchildren were definitely the highlights of my life.
I am in a good time of my life now although even with some pending health issues I am much happier than I have ever been because I am not beating myself up. When I do get depressed as I was on Friday after my latest cat scan and parts of yesterday it was because I forgot to connect with my Spiritual Connection that I find very useful. I started to feel sorry for myself and look for solace outside in others. I have never found it in others but in my Spiritual Guardians. That is my karma. I also find it in meditation and that form is in my writing. I also know I need to live in the mindfulness of life.
One time in my teens, I felt utterly alone. I knew no one cared about me. My parents did not love me as they were too deep into their narcissistic needs to care and my friends were too involved in their needs, which eventually killed them not too many years later and I found myself on a lonely gray beach. I walked into the surf intending to not come out again. Then as I was going down a surfer that I had not seen pulled me up and dragged me to the beach. I thanked him and watched him go out again and surfed some more. I did not do that again. I thanked God for that nameless person. I made up my mind if no one loved me then I would make my life better. I asked for help in doing that. I believe I was given help.
Every time I have asked for help, I have been given it. I think all of us have that ability to ask the Divine for that help. All we have to do is ask. I don't believe it is any particular religion. It has happened on other occasions and it has worked each single time. I am not saying that the help I envision was what I got; but it was help and it worked every single time.
Sometimes, I think someone might read this blog and get something out of it. These blogs are the chapters in my life on how things have worked for me. I was physically and sexually abused by both of my parents. I survived that. I could not have done that without help. I got help all along the way because I asked for it. I was also taught the things I needed to learn on my Spiritual Path because I asked for that too. I also asked to win the lottery. I didn't win that. I have very little in my checking account. What I am saying is hold off from using that door that leads to death. Try something else. Ask for help from one's Spiritual Resources instead whatever they are for you and trust in your ability to find your way home.
Posted by Geneva Lorraine at 10:38 AM