Tormented Souls.

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Amy Winehouse dead at 27. A premature end to the life of an extremely talented, yet hugely tormented soul.


I cannot help feeling incense at the many ill informed, judgemental, incompassionate comments which have appeared on my twitter timeline.


To understand pain you have to have felt pain, be it mental or physical; otherwise you can only assume you know. Assumption is arrogant. The depth of anguish one feels when driven towards any form of substance abuse is tragic. Addiction is an illness. For those of you who think otherwise, consider yourselves ignorant!


It is said that depression will become the second biggest killer after heart disease by 2020. I for one, battle depression on a daily basis. For me it is a consequence of chronic illness and what I consider to be, a result of my sad life. It is not a personal weakness as some may suggest. I would go as far as to say it takes tremendous strength to fight ones demons.


Amy’s state of mind transpired in the creativity of her profound song lyrics. The desperate state of a gifted mind is adept at creating works of art during devastating episodes of despair. It is during these moments our thoughts are at their most prolific. We can recall many of the late; great artists, poets, authors and musicians who are known to have suffered mental illness. John Keats, Michael Angelo, Charles Dickins and Tennesee Williams to name but a few. How ironic that from deep within a troubled psyche creativity flourishes and in many cases serves to leave a lasting legacy.


The sadness I feel when remembering the demise of the King of Rock and Roll and the King of Pop; Elvis and Michael, will never leave. Like Amy, departing from this world amidst a furore. One which was fuelled by drugs and immeasurable pain.


I cannot comprehend some people’s unwillingness or ignorance in understanding the destructive cycle an addict find themselves in. Addiction is a painful, insidious illness, often resulting from underlying mental health issues. It was no secret that these iconic musicians led deeply troubled lives, battling their demons within, whilst constantly being scrutinised by the media.


Have you ever found yourself engulfed in an abyss of sadness… A deep dark solitary place., where there is no light, and even the gentle breeze hurts? I’ve lived with physical illness virtually all of my life. I’ve had more surgery than I care to remember and I’ve beaten cancer, yet depression can still…


* Engulf me when I least expect and draw me deep inside, to a lonely cavern of emptiness… a place I want to hide... *


Okay, I haven’t succumbed to illegal substances to get me through, but I do rely heavily on prescription drugs. However, if I was rich and famous and lived my life in the media spotlight, would I have the strength to resist? I would like to say yes, but that would be arrogant! I’m not rich, or famous, therefore in all honesty I don’t know. The pressure must be immense!


What I do know is; illness, mental or physical is destructive; it eats away at the very core of your existence. It robs you of choices in life, it holds you captive in a private world of anguish that seemingly few understand.


Amy’s music will live on in the hearts and minds of those who adored her. Her creativity, as in the case of others, was born from within one deeply troubled soul.

I only hope now she will rest in peace, along with the other iconic musicians and artists who sadly left this earth prematurely.

RIP Amy.

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* This line was taken from one of my poems Depression featured in my book

Raw Emotion By Jane Gill-Wilson.

The book is available to buy from Amazon and candidly shares my own journey through illness, including depression.



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1 Comment

Reply Wendy Soliman
4:32 AM on July 26, 2011 
Your post brought tears to my eyes. How perceptive you are. Addiction, just like obesity and so many other self-inflicted ills, is an illness, not a sign of lack of self-control. Amy was a troubled genius, as were so many others in her line of work who left us too soon. I wish you well with your battle against depression. You're brave to share it with the world.