In wake of the passing of legendary rapper, Mac Miller, the internet has been having a troubled conversation about addiction and mental illness.
Mac Miller was a rapper that our generation grew up with, loved, and respected so much. Everyone knew that he had a drug problem and depression early in his career and that he has always struggled with it. Losing him to an apparent overdose makes the death even more depressing for his fans knowing that he's been fighting this disease for so long now.
A lot of Mac's fans are blaming Ariana Grande, his ex-girlfriend, for the overdose. And before I really get into it, I want to state that people who are doing this are horrible and ignorant. Ariana broke up with Miller because the relationship turned toxic and she felt as though she couldn't help him anymore. She wished him all the best with his new album and said she still respected him and people still came at her for meeting someone else and getting engaged almost a month after the breakup.
Sure the depression Mac may have felt following the breakup probably contributed, but it is not Ariana's fault that she felt as though she needed to leave that relationship to be feel mentally healthy again. Women do not have to stay in toxic relationships to make men feel better. AMac was Ariana's first love and I'm sure she is having as much trouble with his passing as all of his fans are.
Anyway, the death of Miller has been so controversial in that the conversation regarding drug use and mental illness has sparked, once again.
We saw this after Demi Lovato overdosed and was then sent to rehab. When someone in the public eye is going through something like this, obviously it starts a conversation. Although when Demi overdosed, people blamed her. "Taking drugs was her choice". When Mac died, suddenly addiction was a disease. So which is it?
We have lost so many iconic artists of many realms to drugs, and yet, people still don't understand the true seriousness behind addiction. Whitney Houston, Cory Monteith, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse. All of these adored actors, and musicians lost their lives to drugs. When it comes to mental illness/depression, we've lost Robin Williams, Kate Spade, Kurt Cobain... etc. And yet, we still can't find a healthy way to talk about these issues and understand them.
The fact of the matter is this: Yes, taking drugs is a choice. People decide to take drugs maybe once or twice to try it. But there comes a point when it's not a choice anymore. Taking drugs is something you choose, addiction is not. When drugs, or alcohol for that matter, become such an important part of your life that you feel as though you need it to be who you are, or cope with your struggles, that is not a choice. That is an outside influence driving you to do something detrimental to your body, brain, and soul. Nobody signs up for addiction. No one would willfully choose this path for themselves.
Once it gets to that stage, it's not the addict's fault. The only thing one can do is look for and receive help. And that comes from people who understand this and pay attention to their friends or family's lives.
The same goes for mental illness of any kind. You don't choose depression, it chooses you. It blows my mind that there are some people who don't get that. People who are suffering from these horrible things need the help of their loved ones, need to be reminded that it's okay to struggle and need to know that they are wanted and needed in this world.
Yet again we have lost an amazing artist who touched so many lives. We will always have Mac's music to remind us of his legacy, his artistry, and his life in general.
I'm just wondering when people are really going to recognize these struggles for what they truly are. And I can only hope that in the future, we all look out for our loved ones who may be dealing with issues such as these.