My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, “A Few Figs from Thistles”, 1920
Still sick over the death of an actor, who in my humble opinion was one of the greatest. Just like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and so many other artists/addicts who burn out, substance abuse claims the lives of the best among us. No one is immune. I guess the talented or wealthy are especially vulnerable. I’ve spent the last couple days in a shock. Not only was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death a tragic reminder to me but also a foreshadowing things to come should I drop the ball. If I do not remain vigilant, alcoholism will kill me. No I probably won’t end up in a hotel with needles and baggies of heroin, but I could very well be lain comatose on the barroom floor. It’s just not fair. A shame that this illness holds such stigma and therefore shamefully goes untreated. 12 Steps and prayer to a Higher Power are not enough. Love is not enough. Abundance is not enough. Vigilant, lifelong treatment not unlike those applied to cancer or a vicious virus (although we refuse to give addiction such a comparison) must be embraced and accepted by society. Until then, I will continue to fight against my own relapse while painfully witness high profile artists like Philip Seymour Hoffman die undignified deaths.