People Are Blaming Ariana Grande for Mac Miller’s Death, and It’s Wrong. -Mitch

macgrande

If you don’t listen to the radio, read tabloids, or the internet, I’ll introduce Ariana Grande to you. She’s a pint sized singer who has had 10 songs chart in the top 10. She’s been nominated for several awards, and she’s only 25 years old. She got her start on a terrible Nickelodeon show, and has actually make the transition from child actor to adult singer successfully. Some of her songs are legit bops, and I’d kill for her voice and range. There are rumors that she’s a diva (sometimes deciding that she doesn’t want to walk and making her bodyguards carry her) and most of us saw the tape of her licking donuts.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about why I’m blogging about her. We’re not a gossip rag, but we do cover women’s issues, and this is one of them. Arianna’s last boyfriend was a rapper named Mac Miller. I’d never heard of him before his DUI earlier this year, that happened shortly after Ariana Grande broke up with him. Apparently, they’d been together for 2 years, and he was already an admitted addict before they got together. Yikes. I think women, especially when we’re young, have that attraction to a man, and even if he’s got issues, we go for it, certain that we can change them. Spoiler alert: you can’t. Your chances of changing a man for the long haul are slim to none. For any human to change an ingrained behavior, they have to admit that their behavior is a problem and they have to want to change. Yeah, it’s possible that your new man who is a sweetheart unless he’s drunk will make an effort to quit drinking for a while, especially if you’re around, because you ask him to. However, if he doesn’t see it as that big of a problem, he’s not going to change, especially if he’s an alcoholic.

Sometimes I read celebrity gossip when my husband wants me to be cleaning the house, which he thinks I need to change. He doesn’t understand how keeping the house looking perfect at all times isn’t something I care about. I think it would be lovely if I became a person who prioritized scrubbing tile floors and attacking clutter, but it’s not something I see changing. See how that works? In my mind, it’s not that important. I’m not a hoarder living in a shithole, but nobody’s coming to take photos of my perfectly decorated, sparkling crib anytime soon.

Back on topic. So Miller gets in an accident in May for a DUI. He wrapped his car around a pole and blew twice the legal limit. Several sources claim that the biggest factor in Grande’s decision to break up with Miller was his increasing substance abuse. She was in that relationship from the ages of 23-25. She stuck it out for a lot longer than I would hope any young woman I care about did. Miller admitted in many interviews that he had substance abuse issues. He admitted that he wrote and released an entire album with songs about cocaine. Now, do I think that a breakup can  lead to an addict increasing the amount of drugs and alcohol he abuses? Absolutely! But do I think that Ariana Grande had any responsibility to stay in a shitty relationship with Miller, his drugs, and his booze? NO. I think the fuck not, and neither did she. This is the statement she released when the internet picked up their pitchforks and blamed her for his DUI.

arianastatement

Ah yes. Woman falls in love with toxic addict. She stays for a long time, supporting him and praying things would change. Surprise! He didn’t change, and eventually she bounced. He’s an adult human being with plenty of money for rehab. He chose not to go. I’m not in their relationship, but I can imagine there were plenty of talks about it. Promises to change. Ultimatums, controlling bullshit, tears, and more broken promises. If any other woman were living in that hell, I’d encourage her to get the fuck out. So, why is it that thousands and thousands of people have been tweeting at Ariana Grande that she’s a murder? That this is her fault? That she caused HIS drug and alcohol abuses? He was a grown ass man. He was a man with a terrible disease (as I believe addiction is) but ultimately we’re responsible for our choices and consequences as adults, especially if your choices hurt other people.

And there’s the rub. If you’re in a healthy serious relationship, your partner needs to be your priority. You don’t get to hurt your partner over and over again and expect them to stay. I can assure you that if I stopped managing my bipolar disorder, woke up every day and punched my husband in the face as hard as I could, then grabbed a baseball bat and hit him in the nuts with it whenever I had an opening, he’d leave me. I have a disease, but if I wasn’t treating it and I inflicted harm upon him every day because I chose not to fight it, my husband is under no obligation to stay with me and take the abuse.

Addicts can love you. Of course they can. They just can’t put you or your needs ahead of their addiction. If you let them, they’ll take your soul, they’ll take your money, they’ll crush your spirit, and then they’ll take more. I don’t think they want to hurt you, but if they’re actively using, they aren’t thinking about how their actions affect you, especially the combined effect of months or years of their bullshit. You will never be the priority in the life of the addict you love.

Why in the fuck would anyone blame a woman for getting out of a toxic relationship? Why? You can try to help a person, but if they refuse to help themselves, the abuse is going to keep on happening.

Now we live in a day and age when any nameless, faceless asshole can directly access celebrities on social media. Do they forget that there are actual human beings behind the @s and the #s? They can say things like,

“THIS IS YOUR FAULT,” “You lowkey evil,” “It’s crazy because you really did kill him,” and the most popular, “Fuck you, @arianagrande you did this.”

No, she didn’t do this. Miller did it. He abused drugs and alcohol to the point that the relationship couldn’t go on. Then he bought more drugs, he took them, and he died. It’s tragic. He was only 26 years and and had a lot of life left to live. He had friends, he had talent, and I’m sure he had a family, but addiction doesn’t care. He had a girlfriend who seems to have loved him, who said she supported him and prayed he’d get better, but she finally had enough. In her own words, she isn’t his babysitter or mother.

I don’t need to be a fan of her to say this. I say it as a human being who has addicts in her life; particularly addicts who have been enabled by others. Let me tell you: that doesn’t work either. Nothing will change until the addict wants to change. Ariana bounced right out of her relationship with Miller to a quickie engagement to Pete Davidson of SNL. I love Pete on SNL, but he’s been very vocal about his own issues with drugs in the past, so it’s possible this young lady might be in for more of the same. As someone who made shitloads of really terrible choices in her 20’s, I know some of us have to make mistakes several times before we learn our lessons.

In the meantime, blame the addiction, and yes, blame the addict. They’re still culpable. However, you cannot blame a romantic partner who has had absolutely enough of this bullshit.

-Love, light, and accountability,

Mitch

 

 

 

 

 

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If You Spend All Your Time With Eeyore, You’re Not Going to Get the Honey Pot

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

“Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” -My dear friend Lorraine Castle.

As we blog about self care, self esteem, and personal development, I thought this was worth a visit. I’ve always loved Winnie the Pooh. As a child, the cute little bear with his gang of buddies fascinated me. The antics of Pooh and Tigger really made me laugh, and I deeply related to Pooh’s struggles to get his hands on enough sugar.

As an adult, I still like Pooh. He’s a cool dude who is loyal to his friends and goes after what he wants, event if he gets stuck in a door after filling his belly. I wish that I had his determination to go after what I want just as fearlessly, but I have a problem. I am not as much of an empath as AK is, and I’m honestly glad about that. I’m naturally too selfish to get TOO bogged down in other people’s emotions. I mean, I’m not a sociopath. I feel things deeply and can empathize with people, but I try not to let other people’s shit bring me down.

Unfortunately, I have a few Eeoyres in my life. You know who they are. They’re the friends or family members sucking the enthusiasm out of everything you want to do. Have a great idea for a new business? Want to start getting in shape? Want to take up  a new hobby that could be expensive or time consuming or both? That person is the first one to point out everything that could go wrong, and try to hold you back from trying. They may be naturally cynical; they could be depressed; or they could be just plain jealous. They dampen our spirits at every turn if we let them, even though, in my experience, they don’t even realize they’re doing it. The Eeyores in your life don’t take chances because they think that everything they try to do is just doomed anyway. They live under a dark cloud, and dark clouds are terrible places to be alone. Have you ever heard the expression “Misery loves company?” Don’t be the miserable company for that human.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to tell you to cut that person out of your life, it’s usually not possible. We live in the real world, where this person could be a beloved family member who has depression and/anxiety disorders. This person may not even admit their problem, and therefore do nothing to treat it, nor attempt to lift himself out of it. After all, it’s not like depression comes on overnight in most cases. It slowly becomes the new normal, and while it might be pretty easy to suspect from the outside looking in, that’s not always the case when it’s happening within your own mind. I WAS that person a few years ago when a Rheumatologist prescribed an antidepressant for pain when I wasn’t depressed, but failed to do any psychiatric testing to see if I had any underlying disorders that could make antidepressants dangerous for me. Spoiler alert: I did. I didn’t go from jogging 3-5 miles a day and working on writing a book to laying around like a slug, day drinking, and not giving a single flying fuck about my life overnight. It was a gradual process, and as I was being diagnosed with chronic illnesses and my discs were hearniating, I guess it felt right for me to be down and give up. It took a near breakdown for me to hit rock bottom and realize that isn’t who I am and that I needed to get on my feet and fight like the badass I am. I’m grateful that the people who love me loved me through that, and I’m committed to loving the people in my life through dark times as well. Still, only you can determine if your black cloud dweller is worth standing by. If she’s your boss or your spouse and her actions are directly affecting your day to day ability to care for yourself or others, it may be time to consider quitting that job, getting marriage counseling, or ultimately separating from the spouse. Those are big decisions and I can’t make them for you, but changes MUST BE MADE.

SO, you ask, how does this work? How do I stay focused and motivated when I feel like I have a 100 lb boulder attached to my leg, but it’s a relationship I can’t or won’t end?

Don't Let a Jackass Keep You From Your Honeypot

Here are some tips. Look at the first quote. You’re the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time. Find yourself a couple of Tiggers. You know who they are. They’re the people who are bursting with natural joy and energy. These people are their own best cheerleaders, and they generally are the kind of people who want to cheer for you too. LET THEM. Invite them to lunch. Try to spend time with them. I know I have some Tiggers at my office that are incredible people, and Tiggers usually have lots of time for more friends, but you’ll have to curb your own Eeyore impulses, because Tiggers don’t like to be brought down. They’re happy to spend time with you if you’re a Pooh who has her own goals, or an Owl who is distracted with learning a great deal of the time, or a Kanga who is a bit of a helicopter mom. We all have our things, but I also believe that there is room for personal development as long as we’re alive and kicking.

I also believe you need to be open and honest with your Eeyore. Let them know that you’re concerned about them, but be prepared for them to deny there’s an issue. Remember, Eeyore might not be suffering from depression or anxiety. She might just be a nasty bitch, a terrible human, or some kind of sociopath or narcissist. If it’s the former, let that person know how much you love them, but let them know you need a little distance from their constant shitting on everything you do or want to do. Let them know you love them (if you do) but that you need breaks sometimes because their negativity gets you down and you have goals. It might hurt them, but as long as you’re coming from a place of love and choose your words carefully, then I say “too damn bad.” Hasn’t this person been hurting you, by transferring their feelings onto many aspects of your life? Has he told you not to go back to school to pursue a career that you think you’ll love because it’s “never going to work out?” Has he told you not to start another diet because “You never stick to it very long and you just spend all that money on vegetables that go bad?” Yeah. That’s hurtful as hell, and you don’t deserve that, even if you have failed at things before. If we try new things, we either succeed or we learn. There’s no real failure with that perspective.

I do want to caution you that everyone who wants to sit you down and go over pros and cons is an Eeyore. For example, if you tell me that you have no savings but want to quit your $150,000 a year job that you like pretty well to go into real estate because you think it’s easy and a lot less work,  I’m going to let you know you’re wrong. I will, however, help you work out the details of what my job is really like, and help you set realistic expectations and goals. If you tell me you’re going to go from the couch and P90X workouts twice a day, I am going to suggest you go to your doctor first to determine if your body can actually handle that, and tell you to ask him what level of activity you SHOULD start with, and then find you a program that will fit your needs.

Lastly, Eeyore in the children’s books is a melancholy, but loving and loyal, donkey. You need to figure out if your Eeyore is more like the donkey in the books, or a toxic jackass who will always try to keep you from your honey pot.

With Love and Positive (Bouncy Bouncy Bouncy) Tigger Energy,

-Selfish Mitch