Whitney Houston was a beautiful, glamorous and stylish woman with the singing voice of an angel. She had it all, fame, fortune and notoriety, everything associated with life in limelight. Yet it wasn’t enough and now she’s dead. I hope she has finally found the peace she has long sought.
So what is it about success that drives some luminary over the edge. So many stars have reached the top only to be caught in the throes of drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, and other mental or physical disorders. Some survive, while some don’t make it out alive. Stars like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Heath Ledger, John Belushi, River Phoenix and many others have succumb to the pressure of their success. Is the stress of stardom really that great? Is the pressure to stay on top that overwhelming? If so why is it that most people would give their eye teeth for the chance to ride the crest of the wave even for a little while?
From the outside stardom appears to be all glitter and glamour, premieres and award shows. We see only the hype, the pomp and circumstance, but it’s much more than that. What we don’t see is the dark side, the behind the scenes tension and anxiety associated with acting or recording. The countless re-shooting of scenes, or rerecording of tracks, the incessant waiting involved in the process, the waiting for calls from agent about projects, waiting to learn if you’ve locked up a role or anxiously waiting to learn if your new release is a hit or a flop. Like Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.” The stress is killer.
We’re all familiar with stress. Our daily lives are filled with it. We go through it when faced with threatening or unfamiliar situations, challenges or dangers on the job or in our home lives. So are the lives of celebrities that different than our own? Are the pressures and situations they face really any different than those we face? I think not. People simply respond differently to events. What may be a major stressor for one person may cause little or no stress for someone else. The way we respond to stressors is affected by our physical and mental condition, and whether or not we feel in control of the situation. So does that mean artists are more fragile and insecure? I doubt it. For every actor who looks to alcohol or drugs to curb their stress, there are dozens more who don’t, just as for every ordinary person like you or I who turn to drugs or alcohol to help us cope, there are dozens more who don’t.
On the surface some peoples lives may appears to be relatively stress free and pretty much are, life is truly wonderful in suburbia because they know how to handle their stress, they know how to relax and let stress go in a natural, healthy way. For others it is simply a facade, beneath the surface things are not so wonderful, but they’ve learned to mask it well on the outside, while the stress is eating them up on the inside. It’s no secret that stress is a killer and learning to manage our stress is one of the keys to being happy and living longer, yet people walk around wound tighter than a rubber band ready to snap at any given moment. And believe me some of them will snap.
I realize that stress is an unavoidable part of life, and in some cases actually helps us get through life events, but uncontrolled stress can make life miserable and even lead to death from stress related health issues or from the drugs and alcohol used to curb the pain. Whitney had been in pain for some time now. Her troubled relationships, the drugs and alcohol, her rehab experiences and relapses and her untimely death prove that. She had it all and it just wasn’t enough, it didn’t make her life happy, it couldn’t curb her fear, nor her pain. It’s tragic that she or anyone else ever has to hurt that badly inside. It’s truly sad that she never found the key to managing her pain and stress, and had to keep falling back on drugs to help her through. She was an incredible entertainer and still had so much more to share with all of us….
Rest in Peace Whitney….
Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.”