Disclaimer: This post was originally titled “F*ck Drugs” because I hate how drugs alter and steal beautiful souls. But, ultimately it’s not about the drugs — so I made a wee tweak…but I still wanted to say it. Because it’s worth saying. Let’s just call it the subtitle.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death over the weekend deeply affected me. He is likely my favorite actor of all time — but it was more than that.
I have directly experienced the chaos and torture that drugs create and seen beautiful souls disappear — souls who didn’t understand how loved and loveable they were. And I’ve been in that place where the pain feels so excruciating that you would do just about anything not to be there anymore.
There are many reasons why PSH’s death feels like such a tragic and senseless loss. But I would probably boil it down to it always sucks to know that someone was in that much pain. Enough pain to prefer a soul crushing escape — that for the majority…there is no way back from.
It seems particularly sad that you can be outwardly brilliant, successful, celebrated and loved by millions (and now mourned by as many strangers) — and still not be able to celebrate and love yourself. Because ultimately, that’s where all pain comes from.
Pain is the difference between where you are and where you want to be.
And as humans — we most want to be seen, heard, accepted…feel like we belong, like we are worthy and like we matter. To feel OK inside our little pod. No small task — even when you have an Academy Award that is supposed to prove that you are all those things.
We came here to rock out with our socks out — unleashing our unique gifts and genius with glee on this crazy planet. The twist is that we all have smooshie, vulnerable, delicate tootsie pop centers. That tend to get dinged and chipped as we go about the business of life. Pieces of us get scuffed up or lost and we stop believing in our magic.
Nothing is broken — just temporarily separated. Askew, if you will.
It is painful to be separated from pieces of yourself. The longer and further away from your Self you are — the more homesick you get. Being homesick because you are away at summer camp for a month is miserable. Being homesick because you are separated from pieces of you — for years, or more often decades, at a time — is excruciating.
But Fuck Drugs? Really? Didn’t he choose to do drugs?
Drugs/addiction are just a symptom of homesicknesses — one of many coping- mechanisms-gone-wrong. Depression, fatigue, anxiety, eating disorders, abusive relationships, soul-sucking jobs, emptiness/ apathy/ boredom etc are other flavors of homesickness. A completely whole person — with their tootsie pop center intact — could not choose any of these things for themselves.
When I heard the news yesterday, I just wished that there was a hug strong enough, or words kind enough to take the pain away … to let someone realize how magical they are, how worthy they are and how much they matter.
But there isn’t.
It’s an inside job.