Whitney Houston’s death — while not a surprise — is a sad story indeed. In fact, anytime a colossal talent such as hers is lost to the underworld translates into a melancholy tale; but her spotlighted career the last decade and a half has been more than that. It’s been a messy train wreck in slow motion. I’ve just been waiting for it to stop.
Now it’s stopped. For good.
Addiction ain’t no joke. And it cares not who it destroys. You can be the best singer in the world or the most talented athlete on the diamond. It doesn’t care. It will consume you if you don’t get help.
I only hope that people are paying attention.
With that in mind, Mr. Krause made me hip to one of Whitney’s lesser-known interweb gems. Here, take a look for yourself: *Vid Link*. (For some reason, all embedding of this video — and ones like it — has been disabled) Make sure you pay special attention to Monsieur Gainsbourg at the 58 second mark.
Call me crass, but that’s a Whitney moment to remember. She was hot. She had the best voice on the planet. And the entire world was at her service. Yet none of the above was enough to slay the dragon of addiction.
The damn thing breathes fire.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
My father’s words may have been cliche when he told me, “It’s not about whether or not you fall down, Jeff, it’s about whether or not you get back up”, but no words could have been more uplifting to my beaten, battered soul.
At the time, I was in the lowest place I had ever been.
Defeated. Destroyed. Desolated.
To say I had lost the will to live, that I didn’t care about anyone or anything anymore — including myself — can not be overstated.
I was, literally, done.
Until I started to believe — really, truly believe — that the cliche was right, that I could measure myself by my ability to get back up, that deep down inside, I had guts.
My situation proposed two options: give up and be nothing forever or fight like hell to be the best Jeffery Lung I could possibly be.
One second chance was all I needed. And I didn’t waste it.
It definitely wasn’t easy. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I f***ing did it. And I’m proud as hell to say I f***ing did it.
Of course, not everyone has the guts to get back up. And, somehow, those somebodies often find themselves with third and fourth and fifth chances.
But how many chances is too many chances, Charlie Sheen? How long before we ought to just give up on you like you’ve given up on yourself, Milton Bradley? Destructive behavior is destructive behavior, whether it’s a lifestyle, an addiction or anger management issues; and if one is not willing to help himself, then, in my opinion, he isn’t worth helping. Period.
There are too many other issues that the world and its resources should be concerned about. I think it’s time we send the Charlie Sheens of the world a message: we don’t care about you or your problems anymore. If you screw up, you’re done. No more chances, no more tries, no more fake mea culpas.
It didn’t work for Steve Howe.*
And after twenty plus years of insanity, I highly doubt it’s gonna work for a silver-spooned brat who just doesn’t get it (and by “it” I mean, life, in general).
Hate me. Go ahead. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Steve Howe is dead now. He died in a car wreck. He was strung out on meth at the time.
A sober Sidney Ponson can only mean one thing.. The guy must’ve
discovered another substance to abuse, evidently one that gives the
public the illusion he’s a moderate man while not enhancing his
performance [not just because it’s illegal but because, after all,
failure is the one thing he can accomplish at any level of
intoxication]. Is RSBS aware of his alternative to the booze? If so,
did he receive it from a certain former Texas teammate that sure as
hell had me fooled into thinking he sobered up [until the photographic
Flair for the Dramatic
New York City
In general, I try not to take anything too seriously. That’s just not how I am. Like the eponymous character from “The Big Lebowski,” I abide. But there are some things I take seriously. And addiction is definitely one of them.
Now, I’m a lucky guy. I don’t have an addictive personality. I’ve done my fair share of things I shouldn’t have done but I gave them up in a second with no cravings or anything. I guess I’m just blessed like that. However, that’s not how it usually happens. Addiction isn’t a one-time battle that you just suddenly win. It’s a daily struggle and what we’ve seen happen with Josh Hamilton is proof enough of that.
Imagine for a second being in a job like a professional baseball player. Yeah, you may love the game and you may be completely devoted to watching your team everyday but imagine going out on the field, day in and day out, warming up and knowing that every little thing you do during the game, every little mistake will be analyzed by thousands and possibly millions of people. And if you don’t perform to the tune of the big bucks you’re making, your team has no problem dumping you on the landfill of history.
I have rough days at work, days when I’m sick and tired of it but it’s nothing compared to the stress these guys are feeling. Why else do they try to find the latest edge, legal or not, and do whatever they can to keep it their own? And when that edge starts to wear, when it’s no longer enough, something has to be done to dull the anxiety, keep away the fear. It’s no surprise to me that athletes turn to a little booze or some pot and it’s definitely no surprise that, like brother Axl told us, “The little got more and more.”
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s easy to laugh at the antics of a Ryan Leaf or Sidney Ponson or tsk-tsk when it’s a story like Josh Hamilton and his backsliding. But I’m thinking that although I have no room to pull any sort of holier-than-thou card out of the deck, maybe it’s time we applaud Sidney for getting his act together and focus on what Hamilton has accomplished despite the inevitable setbacks he is going to experience. One day at a time.