It’s really been bugging me. The fact that there needs to be a debate, or even second thought, about whether people should feel bad about Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death. His death wasn’t pretty or dignified, but it was tragic. There’s a large amount of personal choice in using something like heroin, but addiction is a disease. An illness. It isn’t tangible, it doesn’t come with a fever or rashes. It isn’t as ‘tragic’ as sitting at a stoplight and getting nailed by a drunk driver. For some people, it is like believing in ghosts. Blaming some phantom desire and lack of willpower is something that can’t be proved or disproven.
However, it’s there.
Yet, no matter how you view it, he was a good man and actor. He was not evil and did not want to hurt anyone. The fact it is a surprise that he was found this way after supposedly being clean a long time, shows he carried a great amount of shame about it (as well as a desperate need to stop any emotional pain (even the shame from merely using).
Should a person be defined by their worst moment? Why are scandals recycled and beaten to death? Why do we feel this need to define a man that has done so much good by his grossest moment? Same goes for someone like Paula Dean. She is a great person (I think) who happened to say a horrible word years back. Everyone crucifying her gladly heap the bullshit on top of her, knowing damn well they are no different than her. The difference is she was honest. She happened to have her worst moment go public for all to see. Same goes for PSH.
What if your regrets and worst choices went public. You know you are a good person, yet, you’d be defined by, say, being caught drunk, taking a piss in the dark corner of some porno theater.
Disgusting? Yes. Life defining? No. Unless you killed or raped someone.. or willingly hurt other innocent people..
Hopefully one day he will be seen for what he is. A good dude with a shitty problem. We all have impulses we can’t control.
Why is OCD and ADHD accepted as reality, but this is viewed as selfish and dumb? On one hand, it is. You hurt and lie to people. On the other hand, it is a real issue and should be seen as much.
John Lennon had a wicked heroin problem. He was killed by a man instead of a needle, and no one gives a shit.
Why does dying from heroin have a different spin than having a lifelong addiction? It’s just as bad.
I don’t think we should ignore or accept addiction. It is not okay. However, our good deeds and thoughts should have equal room at the table. This does not erase anything. It just imprints a mental picture of a chubby guy in his underwear, dead, with a needle in his arm. That does not mean we shouldn’t feel sorrow for him. It was his choice. His death is on him. But it wasn’t because he was weak or selfish or horrible. It is a real illness.
Being defined by your worst moment is unfair. What are your secrets? How would the world see you if your whole skeleton closet was open for all to see and judge?
Would their reaction be fair?