The most searched and published images of Amy Winehouse are not those featuring the singer onstage or during her beginnings at a Jazz club. The press created a whole photo album that showed this talented songstress’s worst moments.
A woman surrounded by those who seemed to put fame above her, who attempted to undergo rehabilitation programs time and time again, and with a host of fans who went from admiring her to obsessing about every detail of her life. It seemed that this composer’s sight was blinded by the unending harassment of camera flashes. Along with her unprecedented success, the innumerable love disappointments and the men who caused them, Winehouse’s soul seemed always to be pressured into being someone she wasn’t.
Even with her best hits, unimaginable fame, world-wide acclaim, loved by millions, and compared to some of the most iconic voices of jazz, Winehouse never stopped being the vulnerable girl who only wanted to be rescued from herself. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, her most damning vice that lead to her death was to feel loved. The ease with which the artist held on to her past was as great as the register of her voice.
The award-winning singer did not want a man who loved her, she needed a lover who would care for her. Despite getting what many only dream of, nothing seemed to matter to Amy after she lost all hope of getting back together with Blake Fielder-Civil. This man, which she trusted even more than her own self, drove her to the point where only he filled her life with both the positive and the negative. Insecure, shy, deeply sad, and confused next to Fielder-Civil, Amy’s short life took one last chaotic wrong turn.
Amy’s death was sudden. She left behind some of the most poignant lyrics of a generation but also raised questions that would leave any woman petrified. Because, we’ve all been victims of the Amy Winehouse Syndrome at least one time.
Falling in love with love is not the same as loving a partner. Being addicted to a hug after a rough day, needing some PDA to combat a world that rejects us, and depending on the company of someone who makes us feel special, none of these things are elements of a relationship. The lack of self-love and the dependency on others are the most honest reflections of insecurity. Just like Amy, many of us are obsessed with the idea of being someone else’s whole world. We don’t ask for attention or tenderness, but something so impossible that it inevitably leaves us back to where we started: alone.
Being in our own company is tough so it seems easier to search for warmth in someone else’s arms. But it’s that sense of security we think we achieve with a partner that is the most unstable choice. It’s a mistake to give so much until we’re left empty, trying to dig ourselves out of a hole we placed ourselves in.
For Amy, the press, her family, and her fans were never enough. As her name was chanted all around her, she never stopped thinking about the love that was taken from her when Fielder was incarcerated. We can identify with her fear, anxiety, and desperation, which ultimately becomes a snowball of emotions that come back to haunt us. She might have been able to capture all her pain and anger through her lyrics, but she never expunged all that remaining sadness from her system.
The Amy Winehouse Syndrome has nothing to do with professional success, fame, or recognition, and much less related to money or power. This situation is a desperate cry for help that originates from the void we have allowed to grow within ourselves. Being afraid of success, holding on to the past, going back to the arms of someone who hurts us, being around toxic people, refusing to grow, avoiding reality, not knowing how to express ourselves, depending on other people, not trusting our own abilities, feeling like we don’t deserve love, and putting all our energy into a relationship that only leaves us more empty, these are all things this syndrome leads us to.
Healing our soul is a solitary endeavor. Believing our partner will have the answer to all of our questions, as well as the solution to everything that ails us, is what ultimately prevents us from not getting over the Amy Winehouse Syndrome. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive, crying in front of others, or feeling down. But the worst thing we can do is to place our happiness in the hands of someone else. This someone is typically a man who, like us, does not know how to heal a broken heart.
Translated by María Suárez