The Random Griffith

Another one bites the dust

Posted in drugs and ackohol in 5/4 time, rest in peace by Jackson Griffith on 24/07/2011

Well, shit. The trouble with wobbly trains on wobbly train tracks is that, sooner or later, those motherfuckers come off the tracks and then there’s a heap of twisted wreckage and smoke, and those of us who were standing trackside as the train wobbled by all look at each other and mumble, “Well, kinda told you so, no?”

Amy Winehouse, dead at 27. People die from addictive disease. You keep doing the shit and getting fucked up and bouncing in and out of rehab, and sooner or later your number is gonna come up. Sooner or later, you’re not going to get another chance. Those of us who have spent any time around what’s euphemistically called “the rooms” recognize this. We’ve gone to the funerals, and when that broken-hearted parent or sibling or child asks us “Why?” we shrug our shoulders and respond: “Because that’s what happens to alcoholics and addicts.” It’s no mystery. You either accept the gift of sobriety and recovery when it’s offered to you, gratis, and then you treasure that gift by putting it into practice and then paying it forward to others who need it the way you needed it, or else you bounce back and forth until something like this happens.

So, yeah. I look at an event like this filtered through the prism of, at this point, 18 years, 10 months and two days of continuous sobriety, with periods of solid recovery interspersed with other periods of being a miserable old cuss because I wasn’t working it. I’ve also buried a few people with similar stories who weren’t famous. It’s always the same with people who don’t understand addictive disease: “Why?

Anyway, I’m not one of those people who thinks that anyone who picks up a drink or a drug is an alcoholic or a drug addict, but I sure can recognize a drunk or a junkie when I see one, as in: takes one to know one. Oh, well. Rest in peace, sweet wasted princess, and hope that others can learn from your example.

Last night I played music in Stockton, at a cafe I got permanently 86’ed from 30 years ago for drunkenly heckling poets. I get to play places like that now, because I’ve learned and accepted what happens to me when I take that first drink or do that first hit or line or pill. Shit happens. Handcuffs mysteriously appear out of the blackness of night. So, instead, I just show up with my guitar and songs and goofy stories, and if the stars are aligned nicely like they were last night, a good time is had by all.

I wish that Amy Winehouse could have experienced what I have in sobriety. Sadly, she won’t. —Jackson Griffith

2 Responses

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  1. thursdayafternoongirls said, on 25/07/2011 at 00:33

    Very well put Jackson…and I have a great deal of respect for your long term sobriety. I’ve seen first-hand what drink and drugs can do to a person and it’s something that always keeps me in check.

  2. Suzette said, on 25/07/2011 at 02:10

    Well said. I lost my sister to alcohol 6 years ago because she did not want or was not ready for the help that she so desperately needed. So instead, she just faded away. It was the worst time I have had to deal with, watching it happen, and coming to terms with it.

    It is sad that so many have to die from alcohol and drug addictions. The road less traveled is a hard road to take sometimes, but one that we all must take at one time or another. I feel fortunate to have survived my H.S. days and I am happy that I quit drinking over 21 years ago. Life has been a lot better without it… and I have memories that I can actually remember because of it.

    I am happy for your ability to live a different life as well. 🙂


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