…and life is like a pipe, and I’m a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside.
~ Back to Black, 2006
5 days have passed since Amy Winehouse died.
5 days of relentless press and news coverage.
5 days of forums, fan sites and media channels being used as a medium to discuss an array of differing viewpoints surrounding her death.
5 days of interviews, articles and Twitter tributes in her honour.
5 days of fans camping outside her home, carefully guarding the candlelight vigil they created in her memory.
5 days of the rest of her parents’ life without their daughter.
I was saddened to read a number of negative and vicious comments left on blogs and Facebook in the wake of Amy Winehouse’s death.
‘Glad the crack whore is dead. Who cares?’
‘She made a choice to take the path she did and look what happened. She had a life and wasted it.’
‘Why do we always patronise and feel sorry for people that abuse themselves with drink and drugs. These people on drink and drugs just really don’t know the meaning of life!! Sorry, I have no sympathy whatsoever for addicts!’
We are all addicts – in one way or another. We are a nation addicted.
Whether it’s the mind-numbing glare coming from your television, as it churns out a slurry of soap opera after soap opera.
Or the piping hot cup of coffee you consume each morning because ‘you can’t function otherwise’.
Or the partner you affectionately curl up to in bed every night.
Or the cigarette you desperately smoke as your lungs fill with a toxic calm.
Or the rich and velvety chocolate cake you so seductively devour even though ‘you shouldn’t’.
Or the bedraggled man, who sits under the railway arches, his hand outstretched and begging for his next fix.
We are all addicted.
In all of us.
We are all damaged, some more than others, from our childhoods and past experiences. We all bear the faint scars of fear, of loss, of abandonment and loneliness. Our addictions, no matter what they are, help to numb the void – a canvas of black on which we paint them, adding a splash of colour, passion and fulfilment to our lives.
I am a runner. I run 5 days a week. I run until my legs tire and my heart feels like it may explode from my chest.
I run because I am addicted to the heady rush of endorphins as they course through my body.
I run because I suffer from anxiety and somehow, when I run, my mind becomes still and numbs the angst.
Running is my drug.
Running is my addiction.
A Brazilian writer named Paulo Coelho once wrote: ‘We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path’.
In all of us.
I am thankful that running is my addiction and not something far darker and devastating.
What’s your addiction?