Its been a while since I’ve written a blog. A very long while in fact. 5 whole months! And to be totally frank, my heart was no longer in it. I couldnt focus on writing, in fact, it was hard to focus on anything. I couldnt see the wood for the trees. The irony is that writing probably would have helped me focus. And see the wood for the trees. Irony indeed! I hadnt even planned to write another blog for a while yet however I felt compelled to write following the very sad death of our dear Amy Winehouse. A woman who sang ‘You know I am no good’ yet we all knew, that she was in fact very good. Talented to the extent that she put most female singers to shame. A voice to rival the legendary greats. And a legend in her own right. Amy Winehouse was a class act who will forever be remembered for the gift she bestowed on us. Her voice and song writing abilities. A voice that gave us such pleasure and let us forget our troubles.
The reason I was compelled to write this blog is because I saw something in Amy that I had seen in myself. Rightly or wrongly, whilst watching the documentaries following her death and visiting her home, I found myself relating to her in a way that I hadnt seen whilst she had been alive. Not only were we the same age, we also shared a past of ups and downs. Although there were numerous occasions, when I was going through my wild, reckless phase where I would find myself making jokey comparisons between the hell raiser and myself, it was always said tongue in cheek. There were lots of things I loved about Amy; her outspokeness, her honesty and frankness & her ‘I dont give a shit what you think’ attitude. Qualities I believe I have or aspire to have. The thing though that was incredibly apparant to me was the low level of self worth that our dear Amy had. Low self worth and crippling insecurity. And this was something I too had in the past been all to accustommed to.
My childhood was a very loving, happy one. I was brought up by two wonderful parents in Croydon, which is all to often associated with hair facelifts and cocaine! Growing up I was a mischieveous, outspoken child. Incredibly bright yet incredibly troublesome. A bit like our Amy. And even though I looked like butter wouldnt melt, there was something about me that led some to say ‘its always the quiet ones you need to watch out for!’ And they were right! I had a love for drama, dancing and singing and was involved in theatre schools and plays although I obviously never quite got to the stage of our Amy, this was always a great passion and love of mine.
The death of my father to cancer and the months that preceded and immediately followed it caused me to suffer trauma and a deep level of insecurity, which stayed with me for years thereafter. Where my low level of self worth stemmed from I am not so sure although I would hesitate to guess that it too came from this period. This low level of self worth led me to not take care of myself well, abuse my body with large quantities of alcohol etc, be aggressive, be in relationships damaging to me, which caused me a great deal of pain and misery & accept & tolerate disrespect, rudeness and lies. I found myself displaying addictive tendancies, not feeling whole & becoming deeply attached to people & things. Looking back in hindsight can be quite shocking considering how far I have come now however the recent death and stories of Amy Winehouse’s life brought all this back to me with startling clarity. Here was a girl who was brought up by two adoring parents who then went onto divorce and shatter Amy’s concept of love. She has stated in many of her candid interviews that this event caused her to rebel and become insecure in herself. I am in no way blaming her parents for what occured with Amy (and I too am not blaming Blake) in the same way I am not blaming my dad for passing away. What I am saying, however is how sensitive and susceptible young people are to upset and trauma and how this can have knock on effects into the rest of their lives. Makes the job of the parent seem all the more daunting!
Addiciton is a subject close to my heart & something that is often treated as a taboo. You can have an addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, love or in fact all four as was the case of our Amy and others I am also aware of. Addiction stems from not feeling whole. Not feeling complete and therefore looking outside of yourself to complete you. This would distinguish a person who is able to take drugs recreationally and someone who takes it in order to self medicate.
They say that addiction stems from childhood. A traumatic event or not getting enough love as a child. Wherever it stems from it is my opinion that the greatest cure to lack or fear is to love. Give love, feel love and be in love with one self. Realise your worth, your value & your power and love and accept yourself unconditionally for it.
It is my belief, rightly or wrongly that when one has a low level of self worth and therefore dont realise how much value they bring to this life they are more likely to become influenced by ‘bad’ people and situations, turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope and self medicate, become addicted to people and things outside of themselves as they dont feel complete or happy inside, love too much to make up for their lack of love of themselves & put up & tolerate with people & situations beneath them. I know this because I have been there. And whilst I may be wrong when it comes to dear Amy, I have a feeling that the same rings true for her situation as well.
When you have low self worth no amount of esteem from outside of you can amount to you feeling better about yourself. No matter how much people are praising you for your talent with awards & compliments this will have no effect if you dont have this inner, foundational belief in yourself. It is this foundational self worth that leads you to experience true love, joy, peace, happiness and contentment. Without it you are just lost waiting to be found & searching desperately outside of yourself for something, anything to make you feel an ounce of good.
It is because of this life experience and belief that I set up and created with my dear friend Dolly the ‘Because You’re So Worth it’ programme; a programme designed for young girls to empower and motivate them to realise their worth from a young age in order to prevent them as best we can from heading down a path unworthy of their worth. I believe it is my purpose in life to deliver this programme and share my story with others to help them, empower them and build their confidence so that they too can see how good they are. As it was only when I realised my worth, my talents, my skills & what I had to offer that I found love in myself.
Even If it is too late for our dear Amy.
Gone but never forgotten. Loved more than she will ever know. Amy Winehouse, I pray that your soul has now found peace. And your story will help our youth realise that as fun & crazy partying, drink & drugs may seem, the truth is that all everyone wants is to be loved & to be happy. And in order to appreciate this fully, one need to love and be happy on the inside first. Because You’re So Worth it! 😉
Amy Winehouse RIP 1983-2011
Much love. Till next time, whenever that may be. Sooner rather than later I hope! 🙂