5 things Scott Weiland's ex-wife and kids want you to know about addiction.
The whole thing is worth a read, but here are the five points that really rang true ... and real.
Scott Weiland, former frontman for Velvet Revolver and the amazing '90s band Stone Temple Pilots, was found dead in his tour bus last week.
He dealt with addiction his whole life — and it's ultimately what took his life.
In addition to being a rock star, he was also a father and a husband. Here's part of what his ex-wife Mary Forsberg Weiland had to say about his struggles with addiction and his death in a Rolling Stone article.
1. Those who struggle with addiction can be lost to us long before they die.
"This is the final step in our long goodbye to Scott. "
Imagine seeing your loved one basically killing themselves, slowly, over the course of years. When do you start mourning them?
"December 3rd, 2015 is not the day Scott Weiland died. It is the official day the public will use to mourn him, and it was the last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others."
2. There's a fine line between "What a funky artist" and "That person needs hospitalization."
The media frenzy around artists who are clearly struggling doesn't help them get help, even if it helps the artists' bottom line.
"We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click 'add to cart' because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art."
3. Love gets very confusing.
"That mess was our father. We loved him, but a deep-rooted mix of love and disappointment made up the majority of our relationship with him. "
4. Life becomes a cover-up.
Think of your friends who are with partners dealing with problems — addiction, workaholism, plain ol' meanness. This is their struggle.
"Even after Scott and I split up, I spent countless hours trying to calm his paranoid fits, pushing him into the shower and filling him with coffee, just so that I could drop him into the audience at Noah's talent show, or Lucy's musical. Those short encounters were my attempts at giving the kids a feeling of normalcy with their dad. "
It's the struggle of so many caregivers — in many cases, wives, moms, and other women. It's the caregiver trying to make everything as OK as possible for their kids. All the time.
5. Knowing that the person affected by addiction basically cannot choose happiness is devastating.
Yes. It's sad for Weiland's wife and children. But in her generosity, she reflects on what's perhaps most devastating of all: the effect of addiction on Weiland while he was alive — the devastating sadness of a person who couldn't find his way through the cloud of addiction to meet the people who loved him in a happier existence.
"Over the last few years, I could hear his sadness and confusion when he'd call me late into the night, often crying about his inability to separate himself from negative people and bad choices. I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up."
Weiland's ex-wife calls upon his fans to mourn him by choosing to bring happiness into their own lives instead of focusing on nostalgia for a life that had too little of it.
"Our hope for Scott has died, but there is still hope for others," she wrote. "Let's choose to make this the first time we don't glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don't have to come with it. Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it — use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream."
This stuff is hard. I so admire this family for coming forward with their truth. By sharing our true stories, even when the telling is hard, we feel less alone, and we are able to help each other more.