The Amy-W Syndrome

Okay so there is no such syndrome (let’s hope I don’t get sued).

I’m not here to jump on the band wagon of Amy Winehouse’s death, but we cannot ignore the life and lessons we see in her. We can go back to her musically gifted but broken family or even her embracing a life that has spiraled out of control through substance abuse and addiction and her unhealthy need for companionship and not finding it. All her songs speak of her life, her experiences, she was an open book to the world and she made no secret about it. The life of Amy is a tragedy on so many levels, yet her memory will last only for a short while as is the case of so many superstars and even ordinary people like you and I. The thought that scares me the most is that there will always be another Amy and there are many living amongst us.

The Amy-W  Syndrome is two-fold, I think.

First, it is when we have such talented people, gifted beyond words, that we tend to turn a blind eye to their lifestyles and their struggles. All we are interested in is the “star” in the person. We follow their painstaking steps every single day in wanting know more about them, we follow them on Twitter, we have them as a “friend” on Facebook, have the news clippings and all  that go with it, we even have their songs as ringtones. We forget that they are people in search of answers, whether they will acknowledge that or not (although her lyrics have confessed her desperate plea). Everybody is looking for something, some people are just more vocal about it.

Secondly, because of the person and their lifestyle being so antagonistic to what we embrace as social and godly, we ignore or try to wish away the giftedness of the person. When a person is gifted, then they are gifted. It is a gift to the world, and no, I’m not condoning a lifestyle that is reckless and ungodly. We would hope that the giftedness would be used to honour God, their creator and not to use it in pursuit of narcissism and self gain. Think of how her music has affected so many individuals, people who could identify with her struggles, who lived their lives through her lyrics (and possibly even felt good knowing that someone was worse off than they are).

It is sad to know that the Amy’s will always be with us and that many of them will end up in the Amy-W Syndrome, unless we can make that difference in their lives that they are looking for. Nobody is too far gone for God to save, to give purpose and meaning. I would hope we would get to a point where her death is not a joke or gossip but a lesson of a reality where many of our young people and even adults find themselves caught up in. We all pray that our kids will never end up where Amy did. But look around you and see the many Amy’s walking by you. they might even be in the room next to yours when you sleep at night.


I don’t ever want to drink again

I just, ooh, I just need a friend

I’m not gonna spend ten weeks

Have everyone think I’m on the mend

Rehab by Amy Winehouse

So this is my voice, a sad one at this point…


4 thoughts on “The Amy-W Syndrome

  1. Well said, although I do not personally condone her choices, I know her pain as I was there before.
    But one must also keep in mind that we are as much to blame, since we tend to have a different set of rules for stars. People just do not say no to them.

    Michael Jackson went down the same way. No one says no to them. I do however feel for them. It must be hard and the pressure a lot with everyone watching and drawing their own conclusions without knowing you….

  2. Good write! Just sad that when society comes accross people on substance / drug abuse, they are left out in the cold ….

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