Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

For 8 years we’ve watched Amy Winehouse battle addictions. As a music journalist, I see too many music artists fall into addictive patterns. Drugs and alcohol are all around the music biz. I’ve been to backstage parties where cocaine was passed around like M&Ms in a bowl. Even knowing the fate of legends like Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, the rich and famous still overindulge in addictive substances, often without boundaries. Fame can make you feel invincible.

So many people believe that if they were rich or famous, life would then be good. They envy those who have lots of money and who everyone idolizes. Being rich is the goal for so many people who are looking to be happy and think if they get lots of money the happiness will follow. But it doesn’t work like that.

If you’re not happy first, money won’t buy it for you.

Money will make you feel more secure since you can pay your bills easily. People soothe themselves when they buy lots of things. But that’s not internal joy. It’s a quick fix that lasts till your purchase is no longer new and shiny. If fame and fortune are supposed to bring happiness, Amy Winehouse showed it doesn’t work. She was a very troubled woman. The money she made from having hit records allowed her to self-destruct more easily instead of finding her joy.

Internal joy comes from making your self-image positive and strong and increasing self-love.

Even famous celebs who seem to have it all turn to drugs and alcohol because they’re not happy. Amy seemed tormented. Even though she sang about how they said she ought to go to rehab and she said, “no. no, “ she did try it, even once recently. But the damage to her spirit kept her from accepting abstinence. All the money in the world can’t buy you peace if you don’t already have it. Yet people keep pushing to get more money so they can find their happiness, neglecting their families and sometimes screwing others over to get it. And in the end, with money, power and fame, they’re just as unhappy as before.

Amy Winehouse had a very special gift. It’s such a waste that she abused herself so much that she died, leaving fans grieving. Her gifts, and all the money she made, and all the fame she had, couldn’t calm her inner demons. Drugs and alcohol are often used to soothe an unhappy soul. They numb the pain and help the person get away from what’s bothering them, or so it may seem. But in truth, using drugs and alcohol can destroy people who get addicted. And, it doesn’t bring happiness.

Amy and other artists who O-Ded are perfect examples of how money and fame don’t buy happiness. Studies have shown that many people who win the lottery end up more unhappy than before, and often broke. I’m so sad that nothing was able to get through to this very musically gifted woman and pray that out of this tragedy comes enlightenment for people who might be headed in the direction of substance abuse.

I hope that Amy Winehouse has found the peace she couldn’t find in life. Rest in Peace!

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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