Gareth from the Office: Always say no, no, no to drugs

Amy Winehouse before and after
Amy Winehouse before and after

THE loss of a life is never considered to be a good thing. Whether it be a hated social pariah or a martyr, someone will always feel a sense of sorrow.

And at 27 years old the death of Amy Winehouse should be seen as a sad day but not a tragedy. Here we had a talented girl who had it all – fame, fortune and an immense talent that shone through in some of the tender lyrics she wrote.

In my opinion Amy was like any other young person. She liked a good time, a drink, a smoke, a laugh, but somewhere along the way, no matter how it happened, she was introduced to drugs.

And because she was in the public eye, her battle with alcohol and drugs was made all the more noticeable, and harder for her to hide.

If you listen to the lyrics of her 2006 hit Rehab, even back then she sounds scared. A 22-year-old girl rightfully heralded for being an exceptionally talented singer.

But in the song she sings: “I don’t ever wanna drink again, I just need a friend, I’m not gonna spend 10 weeks, have everyone think I’m on the mend. It’s just not my pride, it’s just till these tears have dried.”

Why the hell was someone then not helping her, or at least why was she not helping herself? She had an addiction, yes, and as Ryan Giggs will tell you, they’re hard to get over but you have the power to make your own choices.

No-one forces you to take drugs, no-one forces a bottle to your lips – in that respect she could have helped herself. This may sound a bit harsh; I have never had to deal with an addiction for anything stronger than coffee, or falling for the wrong girls.

But how do you get an addiction? By getting into it in the first place. Here’s a tip, don’t do it in the first place.

I feel for her parents, her close friends and her fans. I would be devastated to lose either a parent, my brother or a close friend of my own but when it comes to Winehouse that is as far as my sympathy goes.

For people to leave tributes of a case of Stella and empty wine glasses tells you all you need to know about the girl. Even writing this I’m still not feeling one ounce of shock at it.

The only shock I have to be honest is that Pete Doherty, a similarly messed up man, outlived her.

The reason I say it is sad but not a tragedy is because it happened in the same week as a real tragedy.

Dozens of people being gunned down and blown apart in Norway is a tragedy. Those people had no choice and they tried desperately to save their own lives.

Which unfortunately is more than can be said for Amy.