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Amy Winehouse: back to life...

Updated: a day ago

We only said goodbye with words, I died a hundred times, you go back to her and I go back to....black

Amy Winehouse lyrics


The above lyrics are taken from singer Amy Winehouse's last studio album. Amy died on 23 July, 2011 at the age of just 27, following years of drugs and alcohol abuse.


This page is written on the anniversary of her death. As well as remembering her life and legacy in music, I also wanted to write this article as a reminder to anyone reading this, of just how important it is to make taking care of yourself a priority in life. Self care is not vanity, it is sanity.


Amy's response to her pain was to go back to black. Her life should be a lesson to all of us of how dangerous that response can be. Nothing on this earth is worth losing your sanity and life over. When everything seems black and hopeless, don't go back to black, go back to life, even if you have to crawl your way back. Always go back to life. It may not be easy, but it's not impossible.

Self care is about caring for both our physical body and also our mind/mental/emotional well being. Body and mind- the two go hand in hand. Without a healthy mind you cannot have a healthy body and an unhealthy body will affect the mind. We make goals in life and work hard to achieve them, but in between goals and achievement, there is a thing called life and a person called YOU. In trying to achieve anything or become what you desire to become, don't neglect taking care of yourself along the way.


That can never be me

When we look at other people making mistakes or do crazy stupid things; we can judge them harshly and sometimes even start to think "that can never be me". Addiction for example, is not something that can only happen to other people. Amy Winehouse didn't wake up one day and decided to become an addict. The breakdown of Britney Spears in 2007, anyone remember that? It didn't just happen in one day. None of us wake up one day and decide to make the mistakes we later live to regret or sadly....die from.


Remember Britney in 2007?



That can never happen to you?...think again







"It can happen to all of us"


Take care

Anything can happen to anyone. Sometimes we are not in control of the negative things that happen to us, but we are in control of how we decide to respond. Go back to black or go back to life....choose life.



Make taking care of your mental and emotional health a priority not an option. We eat daily to nourish our body so why not daily take care of our mind also.


There are so many small ways we can all practice taking better care of our physical and mental health. Find what works for you. If you are looking for some ideas, see the video below from Les Brown or you can find inspiration with LSW Mind cards who have created tools to help you increase your wellbeing, boost your mood and help you move towards a more fulfilled life.


When everything seems black and hopeless, don't go back to black, go back to life. Always go back to life. It may not be easy, but it's not impossible.


Sometimes part of crawling out of that pain and blackness is to be still and give your pain attention. When we were all babies or young children and we experienced any form of pain or discomfort be it physical or emotional, we surrendered to it in that moment; You screamed or cried or something....either way, we acknowledged the pain and we had someone to come and sooth it away. Now as an adult, you have to learn healthy ways to sooth the pain for yourself.


But as we grow older and become adults, some of us learn to mute our emotional pain and become very good at shutting it down somehow, be it through drugs, drinking, or even through what on the surface looks healthy positive such as finding a partner, losing weight, having a baby, finding a new job....We lose our ability to connect and acknowledge what we are feeling. Feeling the pain of an experience that really hurt you can be very uncomfortable and almost.....crippling. So it's easier to avoid it, just bury it somewhere inside and cope. You can run from everything and everyone but you can never run from yourself. You will always meet with yourself and sadly some of us keep running until we run ourselves into an early grave.


One of the best ways to stop running is to give your pain attention and just feel it in order to take control of it before it takes control of you. You can do this in several ways, one way is to just be silent for a moment. Have you ever tried talking to someone but they don't listen? they keep talking over you, you cannot get a word in. You can't feel and listen to what your pain has to teach you if you don't practice being silent; the two words have the same letters in common for a reason! (silent/listen)


So be silent and give your hurt and pain attention. Feel it, be inside it and listen to it as you may just find the answer and direction forward.


So remember:

  • Make taking care of your mental and emotional health a priority not an option


  • When everything seems black and hopeless, don't go back to black, go back to life. Always go back to life. It may not be easy, but it's not impossible.


  • Don't be afraid of feeling. Don't ignore your pain- acknowledge it. Talk to and surround yourself with the right people.


Les Brown: 8 Steps For Taking Care of Yourself and Being Your Best Self


What are some of the things you do to deal with painful emotions? Feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts!




















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