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Whitney Houston Death - A Baby Boomers Reflection on Her Addiction

February 10th, 2013
How do we to honor Whitney Houston's death as well as so many like her as to their addictions?

A Baby Boomers Reflection on Her Possible Addictions


Whitney Houston. Wow!

What can one say, another loss to perhaps addiction?

Certainly that is what is on most people’s minds and I would guess “how senseless it is” mirrors what most feel about it!

If in fact addiction is the culprit, and the associated lifestyle that typically accompanies it seems a fit.

Then how do we learn from Whitney Houstons ill fated ending.

Life has not so many lessons as the act of learning how to live our day to day lives, how to love one another, and how to die gracefully without leaving harm to our loved ones, but rather leaving a life enhancing message that increases the lives of our brothers and sisters.

A life lived that does not encumber but instead allows others to live more freely by the mistakes we offer and the lessons learned by virtue of mistakes made. These we pass on to our beloved so that may benefit from our mistakes and not make them also. Again, teaching them by how we lived and most importantly by how we chose to die.

Living life with both our eyes open with honesty as our guide may be a good place to begin, but surely it does not include a life masked by rampant substance use and abuse.

So I ask myself, how then are we to honor Whitney Houston's death and so many like her as with substances no one is special or above the devastation that is part and parcel of addiction. Should it not be by bettering ourselves, and ending life with both our eyes open instead of at half mask?

What’s involved here and what’s the 'take away' for us as a society?

What does Whitney Houstons death do to increase our societal health? For if nothing positive comes of her passing, is it not made worse if we do nor learn nothing! When my mother died, I was surprised to see and thus learn that she was still teaching me by role modeling how to live even as she showed me how to die with grace and dignity which is what she did. I only hope I can do it with anything approaching the level of acceptance she showed. She had faith in a power she believed in with all of her heart and in fact could not wait to meet. As such her death was met with a kind of acceptance by all who knew and loved her. I suppose we were made stronger because of how died in all its facets without fear or any seeming sense of wanting more on this plane. She was you see ready to go and had been for some time.

Not so Whitney, I suspect this was not her plan for the day she died. In fact I suspect as most of us do she lived life as though it will go on forever. Thus even those who were close to Ms. Huston were not ready although many would say they saw it coming they still are amazed that this has happened and will say things like “how could this have happened”? So, each time this happens it is both sad and disheartening. Yet I cannot help but feeling that other than signing songs and remembering how great (if being a known iconic figure makes you great then I suppose she was) these people are I fear noting will change regarding what took them from us so early and in an in such an untimely manner!

When substance use took Michael Jackson, I thought “when does it end”. I thought what if anything can I do beside mourn helplessly on the sidelines as it were. Well in this case I am doing something else. I am at least making my voice heard, and expressing my extreme sense of loss and sickening sense of helplessness at the ravages of addiction. Addiction takes hold of life and seeks to destroy it and everything close to it. In Whitney’s case there is a child and family that must find a way to muster on.

If Whitney Houston's loss will empower someone else to fight this illness with a greater degree of fervor then maybe that’s enough. Or better stated perhaps it’s just a good start as this thing needs to be eradicated.

There seems to have developed a level of societal comfort or perhaps acceptance of this illness as one of the things we just have to live with. Yet I must ask does it have to be this way, well I hope not? While I don’t know the answer I do know we can only improve on the mega losses we are experiencing in this supposed war on drugs. A fight we do not know how to wager, nor have even a beginning sense of how to win!

How then do we go forward, and what if anything do we hope to accomplish and who shall lead us. I feel rudderless and sorely at a loss as to how to proceed, for surely before the day is a host of people not as well known as Ms. Houston will fall prey to this madness. Mothers, fathers, and sisters and brothers will cry foul at the seeming incredulity of their loss to something so lacking in meaning or import that it renders the loss to a level of despair that knows no bounds.

I confess that I don't know the answer of what to do especially when many believe we are fighting a war that cannot be won because it is literally interwoven into the financial stability of our world society. If that is even remotely true then we are truly undone and will continue to watch helplessly as we die meaningless lives because we have not learned the simple lesson of living life from a place of acceptance which means we no longer have to turn to drugs to manage our fears of the act of living life wholly and awake for every moment.

We are literally dying as witnessed by Whitney’s loss...

If you are endowed with even an idea that might take us in the right direction then would you be as kind as to speak up. There has to be some form of redemption or maybe the idea would be some form of worldly answer to these all too frequent events. They are becoming happenstance you see, not the irregular, but rather they are becoming as common place as turning on one’s computer it’s just a part of our daily landscape. For you see the stars we hear about by no means account for all those who are not famous whom we never hear about that die daily or in some cases on an hourly basis!

I am sorry as the article has no answer to offer and for not doing so is somewhat depressing. Yet I have nothing positive to say, nor do I know of any effort that is underway that will change these all too frequent events.

I will leave you with this thought. This fight is not someone else's fight but rather it is a challenge to all of us. For all of us at some point or another has been and will be affected by addiction. So we must all take up the charge and perhaps by banding together we will bring enough resources to this battle to overwhelm our enemies and take back our communities and kick out the monsters who cavalierly bring this stuff to the metaphorical table of our lives.

Oh and to the question of Why Whitney?

Well the answer is, Why not Whitney! This is after all an equal opportunistic monster 'ADDICTION' who cares not who it takes, but rather just that it keeps taking.

Fred Wade holds both National and State certifications as an addictions counselor. He has worked in the field of addiction since the mid 80’s, having worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Weyland Consultation Services which specializes in outpatient treatment of addictive disorders for adults and adolescent males and females. Weyland Consultation Services is located in Walnut Creek California, and serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Weyland Consultation Services offers a Discreet and Confidential Intervention and Outpatient Alcohol and Drug and Treatment Programs for adults and adolescents in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. With their office in Walnut Creek they serve the Cities of Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Alamo, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasanton as well as the greater San Francisco bay Area of California.

Weyland Consultation Services
Walnut Creek Addiction and Recovery
2930 Camino Diablo, Suite 110
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(Serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area)
Phone: (925) 945-7816 ext. 41

When Hope Is Not Enough, by Fred Wade
- C.A.S., R.A.S. Certified Addition Counselor
This book provides families reference points to refer to when and if an alcohol or chemical abuse problem were to arise with someone they love. It will provide a framework for thinking about and responding to alcohol and chemical abuse problems, as well as a means to finding answers to many unique situations.

Book Excerpts

When Hope Is NOt Enough

Article by:
Fred Wade

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