No-frills Amy Winehouse

I know this might sound ultra anti-feminist and probably a little sad, but all I’ve ever wanted in life was to be loved. These days it manifests as love addiction, codependency or obsession with the “lucky” man of the moment! When I was a kid and teen, this manifested in an obsessive and destructive desire for fame. Yes, as a child I wanted, no needed, the world to love me and had decided that achieving Oprah-level fame was the only way I would ever be happy. I’m an addict guys, I don’t do anything by halves! As you may have guessed, I am not a world-wide phenomenon (yet!… hey, old habits die hard) and yes, this was the an incredibly painful lesson I had to learn, but let’s be honest, if I had achieved world domination by the time I was 16 (as I told my father at 13-years-old I would, while he stared at me bemused), I would’ve ended up like Amy Winehouse. I have no doubt. Let’s face it, I was the no-frills, less talented, unsuccessful version of her!

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I was just un/lucky enough to not have the money, fame or paparazzi hounding me during my recovery or fueling my addiction. I also said, yes, yes, yes, to rehab. Which was my saving grace and the only reason I am alive today. Oh, B-T-dubs, this is a PSA; If you don’t like Amy (yas, we are on a first name basis), no offense but…kindly eat a bag of dicks, you’re wrong! She was a beautiful, fragile, love-personified, angel, goddess, queen with talent pouring out of her fingertips as she strummed, she wrote like someone who had seen too much and she had a voice somehow simultaneously like molten chocolate and as if she had been a pack-a-day smoker since she was 10. If you haven’t heard the ‘Back to Black’ album, STOP READING this nonsense and listen immediately! You will understand her, me, yourself and simply the world better. It will do nothing short of change your life. In my humble opinion… But WTF do I know?

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For those of you still around after being insulted and told to stop reading and listen to music, this isn’t just an appreciation post, Amy is key in this story. I relate to her on a profound level. That worries people but then, I worry a lot of people too so, make of that what you will. Yesterday I visited Camden town where the fallen angel lived and tragically died. I was meant to be going on my very first ‘official’ date with my London boyfie, who will now be known as ‘London’, because I am a creative genius and writer extraordinaire! Anyway, here’s a typical example of love addiction for ya! Let me paint the picture…

10 years ago, when I was 19 and naive to the imbalance between beauty and tragedy that life brings, I was still, well, maybe not bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, but I wasn’t the bitter, old hag you see before you today (oh yeah, come at me boys)! I was out in Melbourne for the night with a girlfriend when I saw this handsome, older man across the bar and he saw me (yeah yeah, another handsome, older man. Daddy issues, I’m aware!).

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One of her favourite haunts, Camden.

It was the first time I had ever had that movie-like moment where you truly believe in your gut you have just seen the love of your life. I still remember what he was wearing, how his hair was, his smile…and the kicker, his British accent. Well, I was fucked. I’d fallen in love with him before we even left the bar. Problem was, someone else loved him…namely, his (now ex) wife. We chatted, there was fire, he fueled my intensity with pretty words and we went our separate ways. As I write this from the bed in my friends London apartment where I’m crashing, this is the closest I have been to him in 10 years. He has never left my life but also never truly entered it as we lived literal worlds apart. We have been through nothing and at the same time kind of… everything together. Over the years connecting through the florescent lights emanating from our phones. We hardly know each other and yet we know all these significant moments in each other’s lives. Surgery, divorce, break-ups, children, loss of parents and friends, cancer, drugs, life… It’s been a strangely comforting, constant “relationship”. At times when no one else would, he would tell me he loved me, I was beautiful, important, I existed. I felt like if I ever had nothing in my future, at least I had him. He would always be there, just loving me. See, that’s my crazy love-addict mind right there. I had moved on into a relationship that lasted 6 years, I have had people come and go in my life in that time and yet my addiction would tell me that this man has just been quietly twiddling his thumbs, sad and alone in London, desperately waiting for me to arrive and for our love-story to begin! Well, here I am babe, let’s do this thing! Awks…

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This statue of Amy lives in Stables Market, Camden.

On the morning of what was to be our very first date, 10 years in the making, there he is in my phone, doing what any rational person would do, blowing me off and running as fast as he could in the opposite direction to the spiral of insanity that is me. He wouldn’t even know that what he said would impact me so deeply but when he told me “this” [I] was [am] “too intense” and “crazy”, he just so happened to be the third man I cared about (and believed cared about me) this week, who had said the same thing in any number of different ways. I am single AF and yet somehow was dumped 3 times this week! What is life?! I am aware I am intense (a whirlwind/roller coaster/wrecking ball/hurricane…keep ‘em coming boys, I’ve heard it all!),  but you can’t feed my intensity with hopeful words and fall in love with this same intensity, energy and passion, just to tell me it’s too much now. Well, I guess you can and that’s the problem I’m having.

I feel like the sun (ego much?). I feel like from a safe distance I am bright and shiny and pretty to look at but get too close and I’m just so fucking hot I’ll burn you to a measly crisp of the man you once were…omg soz, baiiiii! Or maybe, I’m just a loud, obnoxious, c*nt who drinks too much, swears too much and can’t keep her dick in her pants… but who’s to say! In all honesty though, I’m struggling with this. I am wild and unpredictable, I know that about myself. But this is the me post rehab, post 100 years of therapy and self-study, this is me working my juicy little arse off to be better, and I’m starting to feel like unless I shut up and pacify myself (which isn’t an option coz I gots shit to say!) then I’ll forever be without an intimate love. I know what you’re going to say so let me say it first! I’ll just have to get really good at loving the shit out of myself so that I don’t need no man! * flicks hair and clicks * It would be nice right? I know this is an unpopular thing to say as a strong, independent woman, but I just question whether I’m cut out for that. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself sick, but my fear of loneliness is fucking powerful and sometimes fear trumps love. 

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The Fallen Angel on the side of The Hawley Arms pub.

So, with ‘London’, I was supposed to go on this Amy Winehouse-tour. I wanted to drink in the bars she drank at, see all the amazing street art that has been dedicated to her, walk the streets she used to walk, sit at the bar and write songs in the presence of her memory. I just wanted to experience and honor her, and to thank her for her art and understanding. After being rejected I pulled up me-ol’ cotton socks and took myself on the tour, alone. I did all the fabulous things I wanted to do and in fact it was probably better because I could spend more time writing and connecting with her but after a few too many beers (disguised to myself as “connection”) I had that familiar feeling… I wasn’t just alone, I was lonely. Alcohol is my kryptonite. It turns me from a badass boss bitch who can handle just about anything life throws at me, to literal gutter trash. I become the definition of white-girl-wasted and intensely needy. Let me tell you, feeling needy when you are alone, in a city you don’t know and a recovering sex/love/drug addict who has just relapsed on booze, is a recipe for disaster. I am lucky that none of the brilliant plans I came up with in my drunken haze came to fruition (whatever you’re thinking, yes, I thought about doing it) and instead I just took myself to a hotel, alone, and slept it off. Called my mummy in the morning for a pep talked, had a little cry in the street and pressed re-start on my life and recovery. Aren’t mums just the best?

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I relate to Amy on many levels and not just because we are Eskimo sisters* (now that’s a story!) but because, although she was already using drink and drugs to cope with the pain of existence, it wasn’t until she was broken hearted that she tried to use substances to fill the love she was missing. That was ultimately her downfall. Her addiction to Blake was so strong, it killed her, in every single way. In fact, opiates like heroin or Oxy fill the same receptors in the brain as falling in love does. That’s why they often attract us sensitive, fragile hearts, before subsequently ripping us to shreds. We are desperate to feel loved, even if we have to take it in chemical form. I think that’s the saddest thing I have ever learned. Especially when you realize how much less attractive or desirable you are on drugs/booze. Here we are, ‘the lonely-hearts club’, using unhelpful coping mechanisms because we are heartbroken and craving love and affection, and yet, these strategies are repelling people so much that it becomes a cycle of loneliness. I am somehow simultaneously attractive and lovable and repulsive and terrifying to the opposite sex. If you think meeting me is a “whirlwind” how confused do you think I am most of the time!? Answer: quite.

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Amy used to sneak behind the bar here and pull beers for the customers.

I don’t want to end on that super depressing note. It’s all a bit close for my usual more objective approach but I was called to write and it’s helping me process so cheers for reading along with me. Yesterday was a day where I was triggered around every corner and didn’t have enough back-ups in place to protect myself. Ultimately, as long as I learn and become more aware, I’m okay. I get to let go of a man who I have identified as an addiction, I’ve been reminded that when sober I am the strongest mother fucker I’ve ever known but drinking makes me incredibly vulnerable and, in a way, although I am accepting that maybe I am too intense to find love (whatever that is, I’m still learning) another part of me is incredibly excited that if and when I do he will be the strongest, bravest, most patient man on the planet and so, why would I rush meeting him? He sounds fab (potential love addiction talking, I’ve got no feking idea anymore)!

Let’s watch and find out!

*Eskimo sisters definition  – you’re welcome internet!

Nineteen – this is one of the first songs I ever wrote and it is still one of my favourites today. This is his song…

One thought on “No-frills Amy Winehouse

  1. I really enjoyed this! Growing up I always thought fame was the only way to make me happy too!!! In a way I still do! Lol! Maybe I am a love addict too?
    Love your honesty gurl!
    Shania xx

    Like

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