It saddened me very much when I learned that Lisa Robin Kelly had died, the girl who played Eric Forman's sister on That '70s Show. Sure, she's not a household name, and she hasn't acted in anything we've seen since she got booted from the show. Still.I remember seeing her in the news here and there, all for reasons no one would be proud of. Kelly, like so many young celebrities in the public eye, sadly succumbed to her addiction.
Kelly was an alcoholic who had just checked herself into a rehab facility. She was determined to clean her life up. Unfortunately, she went into cardiac arrest and died in her sleep while at the treatment center.
I was completely distraught when I saw that Cory Monteith had passed away. Though I'd recently read that he'd been in rehab, there hadn't been much more written about it; it seemed under control, okay. It blew my mind to read, "Glee Star Dead," and learn that it was him. I love the show for so many reasons. Truly love it. And Monteith just seems like the least likely person to have a drug problem...which just demonstrates that even though there are stereotypes about drug users, anyone can be a drug user. Mr. Clean-Cut All American Boy can have a heroin addiction. And he did.
I feel a connection with these celebrities we read about who are struggling with, or have overcome, some sort of addiction. I understand the weakness...the power a substance can have over someone and how hard it is to stop. You'll see a section in celebrity magazines sometimes pointing out that Celebrities Are Just Like Us! Well, they are. Famous or not, that addictive quality within us is all the same. All the money in the world can't fix an addiction. The fanciest treatment centers in the world can't fix an addiction. A team of people who do everything for you can't fix an addiction.
Only the addict can fix the problem. And it's not simple. It's a lifelong process. Part of the reason celebrities relapse so often is because they go back to hanging out with the exact same people they were hanging out with when they were using. No different with people like you and me. If you want to stay sober, you have to change your life. You might lose some friends. In the long run, it's worth it. They were never your real friends anyway.
If you ever take the time to read underneath any of the articles online that publish news of a celebrity's death due to overdose, you'll really see how cruel people are and how little empathy they have. It's sickening. Would they use the same words to write about one of their friends? Most people also believe addiction is a choice, not a disease. I believe that it is a disease, and a very powerful one. It's easy to scoff at something you have no idea about. If that's the case, I think it's better to keep your mouth shut.
Of course this is all just my humble opinion. The humble opinion of an addict.