Friday, February 07, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Monsters.


I was an admirer of Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting, his directorial abilities, his engaging intelligence. I was also aware of his addictions, the monsters that can awaken at any time and stretch their muscles and grab you by the throat. Awareness is a vital key to us addicts. With awareness, we can sedate the monster, bore him into a coma by simply not paying attention when he starts to yawn and whimper for attention.

Many of us addicts share the what-ifs of Philip's death. As in: what-if we succumbed to the monster? What-if we ignored the monster for the last 20+years and then just danced with him the once? Could we then disengage and start all over again without him?

When the poll is taken the answer is always no. When 20+ years of monster beating results in firing up that particular romance again one would then question all those 20+ years that brought you to that renewal of the vows of engagement.

That's where Philip was. I totally get it. So do other addicts.

He said some things a year or so before his death from an overdose:

"You may think you're through with the past, but the past isn't through with you."

"How do we get so deformed, why are we always trying to find that flaw and fix it?"

"We are slaves to the lives we create."

He was unhappy. Sobriety wasn't enough anymore. Unbelievable success was not the answer. He said he never knew what happiness was. He thought it was way outside of his capacity and understanding.

And only for other people.

But not him.

At peace now.

27 comments:

  1. I've read several articles and posts about Seymour Hoffman. Yours is the most personal perspective about addiction. From the outside it looked like he had it all. We never know do we? A lot to think about....

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  2. "He said he never knew what happiness was. He thought it was way outside of his capacity and understanding." What a very sad confession.

    Russell Brand wrote a very good piece about Philip Seymour Hoffman's death: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/06/russell-brand-philip-seymour-hoffman-drug-laws

    As long as the politicians and media still insist on seeing drugs as a crime problem rather than a health problem, tragedies like this are inevitable.

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  3. "The past isn't through with you". How true. How true.

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  4. Beautiful post, speaking of the man and not the icon.

    "Unbelievable success was not the answer."

    Personally, I feel that the kind of "success" he was talking about is about how people we do not know see us. That kind of "success" is inherently toxic to people seeking or needing another kind of success. Unfortunately, attaining toxic "success" leaves little opportunity for attaining any other kind of success.

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  5. Thanks for your sharing about addictions.

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  6. I tried emailing you a message but it wouldn't go through.

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  7. I have several friends who almost ruined their lives but have managed to stay sober for 20 years or more. I know that not a day goes by that they don't fear succumbing. It's so scary.

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  8. I think, "There but for the grace of god go I." If it weren't for my psychiatric medicines, I might have ended up with quite an addiction on my hands myself. O consider myself fortunate. xox

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  9. Sharon:

    Depression is one of the elements also but taking anti-depressives can remove the passion and talent. The peaks and the valleys that are needed.

    No easy solution at all.

    XO
    WWW

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  10. And so much money to be made from keeping it illegal. The Wire really opened my mind to that element.

    Illegal drug money is untraceable and finances so much.

    GOD as some wag had it: Gold, Oil, Drugs grease the wheels of power.

    XO
    WWW

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  11. HSB:

    Welcome!

    I suppose we can enter "fini" when we die, but until then, we never know when its cold hands encircle our souls.

    XO
    WWW

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  12. Maggie:
    I always thought his passion shone through his work, he was incredibly gifted. I truly believe the material success never meant much to him but even seeing pictures of him in the last few months I can tell his self-esteem was in the toilet. He looked hopeless.
    I've been there.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Judi:
    Thanks.

    My email is: wisewebwomanATgmail.com
    You know what to do with the AT. :)

    I see my system defaults to Outlook which is the problem and I can't seem to fix that. I'll work on changing the link.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Hattie:

    Maybe not "fear" but certainly an awareness every day and there is a ton of support out there that I avail of. Only an addict can understand fully another addict.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Irene:

    And that's all that matters. You have found your solution, I have found mine :)

    XO
    WWW

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  16. I don’t have an addictive bent, but was forced into one by being prescribed tranquilizers for about 20 years. It took 2 very hard years to come off and walk straight again.

    I was once married to a compulsive gambler; hence the tranquilizers.

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  17. So you understand, Friko. I had a hard time getting off Solium in my twenties.

    Gambling is rampant, I was once engaged to one, ducked and ran :)

    XO
    WWW

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  18. Remember these lyrics from Sam Coooke? How appropriate they seem ...
    Nobody knows the trouble that I've seen
    Nobody knows my sorrow
    Nobody knows the trouble that I've seen
    Glory hallelujiah


    RIP Phil Hoffman

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  19. Veep:

    Welcome back :)

    Well said, and so very true, give us some insight into how he felt.

    XO
    WWW

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  20. A touching and heartwrenching good-bye to PSH, WWW, having lived very close to addiction and managing to stay outside its bounds gives me an understanding on a small level. I felt the prophetic pronouncements in his interview on 60 minutes a while back and my heart aches for the loss, too. Every role he took on was profound.

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  21. Very sympathetic and personal WWW. he was an actor I admired.

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  22. Very sympathetic and personal WWW. He was an actor I admired.

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  23. CCK:
    How absolutely true! He was such a sensitive soul and wore his angst so openly. I have no trouble believing that addicts are 7 times more sensitive than regular folk.

    XO
    WWW

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  24. CCK:
    How absolutely true! He was such a sensitive soul and wore his angst so openly. I have no trouble believing that addicts are 7 times more sensitive than regular folk.

    XO
    WWW

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  25. GFB:

    I will never forget him as Truman Capote.

    XO
    WWW

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