I recently saw the newly released documentary entitled “Amy” which stitches together home video, photographs, interviews and footage from Amy Winehouse’s hyper speed rise to fame and her struggles, successes and obstacles as she tried to navigate her life in the limelight.
I cannot get this movie out of my mind. It’s not because of the story of her rapid ascent into stardom or her near-avalanche slide to rock bottom. No, the story that has been replaying for me since I left the movie theatre is that in the midst of all of it, there were so few people that truly had her back. Those who did were overpowered by those who did not. Sure there was denial and tough love sprinkled in her story but what stood out for me the most was the fact that those who were in the position to help her find a better way, a healthier way to cope with the fame, fortune and the family issues that plagued her since childhood, were the ones who couldn’t see beyond what they could get or acquire because of the superstar status that Amy had achieved.
This has me thinking…
How often in our lives do we truly support each other out of what is best for the person in need. There is no judgment here in my pondering. I have to look at myself when I ask this question and inventory the times that I have stepped up to support my loved ones in crisis and where, if anywhere, I acted for my own good versus theirs. There is an opportunity here for us to each look into the mirror and reflect on the choices we make and the decisions we choose as it relates to being there for those we love especially when they are in need of support.
I’m not saying that as Caregivers we shouldn’t act in our own best interest. I think often it’s a balancing act between what is needed to support a loved one and what is needed to support us. Here’s the difference though, in my opinion when what is needed to support ourselves directly impacts the health and well being of our loved one, then there is trouble. In the movie “Amy” it was portrayed on many occasions that those who were in Amy Winehouse’s inner-circle were not often acting in her best interest and many times to the detriment of Amy’s health.
In a very personal way, and I would guess it’s why I have been thinking of this movie for days now, this boils down to me wanting to feel that there are people in my life that have my back. And in the same vein, that when there is a need to do so, that I can be one of those people willing to step up and really be there for someone. I’m not talking about in an enabler way, I’m talking about in a “you can hate me today, but you’ll thank me someday” way.
It’s not easy
It’s not easy to be unpopular or to choose the challenging path over the uncomplicated one, I know. Choosing this road is difficult and lonely at times. It takes courage and tenacity to keep pushing back and redirecting over and over again. But I cannot help but wonder how often, when we choose the easier path, it results in more difficulties down the road anyway.
In the case of Amy Winehouse, perhaps even with this level of support things would have ended the same anyway. Perhaps, there really was no saving Amy. Who’s to say? I can certainly play out a myriad of outcomes in my mind but I’ll really never know what could have been.
And yet, it leaves me in a place of deep contemplation and awareness that will not fade away any time soon. It challenges me to look at myself in a deeper way. To recognize how I can be more present, more supportive and even unpopular when I need to be while supporting those that I love.