Think Before You Speak on DMX, Mental Illness, and Addiction

A lot of people are making a lot of comments about this man, his life, his friends, his death, his trauma, and his addiction. People are literally out here claiming that no one cared about him while he was alive. That has to be a huge lie. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

How DMX Impacted MY Life Personally

I have never really been a huge fan of rap. There are very few rappers that I follow and whose work I am eager to hear as soon as it comes out. My younger brother actually introduced me to DMX and just recently told me that he would steal my CDs and listen to them on the way to school. I actually had DMX tapes.

This man’s music made you listen. I listened to his lyrics and learned so much about him as a person, understood his rage, understood his trauma. This man went through a lot of trauma. You can’t claim you’re a fan of his and not know what this man has gone through.

Some girl on Facebook said that she listened to his music and didn’t know about his trauma. Everyone was like “Well, what songs exactly did you listen to?” His FIRST album told you about him and he continued his story throughout his work. In addition to his music, he spoke on it.

I was an angry teenager. I had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder nor depression but I identified with the rage in his songs. I yelled his songs. His songs calmed me down when I was pissed. I would drive to jobs that I hated yelling DMX songs and it worked. It probably saved lives and kept me out of prison.

“People Only Care About Him Now That He’s Dead”

This is trash. Everyone knows it’s trash. People were trying to support this man. But you can’t make a person change. He was on Fix My Life and went off on Iyanla. Many high powered people tried to help him but he had demons that many people that make this ignorant comment don’t know about. If you read any book on addiction or psychology, know at least ONE person that is addicted to drugs, or just have a heart, you would know that this man went through a lot from a YOUNG age. And I’m not going to spell it out. I would invite those that don’t know to do some research.

He grew up hard and the mere fact that he made it to 50 years shows that he was a fighter. He very easily could have just killed himself. But he decided to channel his feelings into his music. In the process of doing that, he brought people up WITH him.

Swizz Beatz just talked about him on Instagram and talked about how he took other people’s pain and made it his own. He said he was hurting all the time and that he went to jail to get a break. That’s a problem. It’s sad. We knew about his history of drug use but many people don’t understand what caused that drug use. He was self medicating. For him to make it to 50, again, is HUGE!

He was LOVED. He was so loved that Jay Z paid his debt. Other big names always talked to him. He was a very intelligent man but he saw things on a level that many wouldn’t understand. Swizz talked about how he never purchased expensive things and how he always did for others. He talked about how he prayed for everyone while he was in pain himself.

I can identify with DMX because I tend to take on other people’s pain and make it my own but don’t expect people to do the same for me. Thankfully, my friends have shown me that that’s not how it’s supposed to be. However, it’s hard to tell someone who suffers from mental illness and addiction that. A friend can only do but so much. I just have a mental illness, I don’t know what I would be like suffering from addiction.

DMX was trying yall. He had gone to rehab and was trying to get himself together. But, this again, is the self medication I was talking about. It also is another example of how the Black community shuns mental health because of the fact that it will make you look “weak”, especially men.

You are stronger than you know when you ask for help. He was trying though. The mere fact that he took it upon himself to go to rehab was huge. That would give him the opportunity to actually TALK about his issues while undergoing detox. Rehab usually takes numerous tries, however. You don’t go once or twice and come out okay. I have seen instances where people were in and out of rehab.

“How Come His Friends Didn’t Help Him?”

DMX had very powerful people on his side. But power and money can’t MAKE a person change their thinking nor their dependence on drugs. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but anyone can tell you that he didn’t properly deal with the trauma in his life. And that didn’t help when he got into drugs at such a young age.

Drugs made him feel good. It made him forget. He actually said this in interviews. He is no different than most addicts that have suffered trauma in this instance. It’s the instant gratification from drugs. Having to undergo treatment and talking about things that truly make you worse (while not being able to take the very drugs that blocked those instances out) is a hard process. Some people can’t handle that process. I don’t fault them for it either. I don’t. I have friends that have been through HORRIBLE things and WERE addicts. They went through a lot, burned a lot of bridges, were in and out of rehab, tried different drugs to get over one drug, etc. It is a long, hard process.

Here is an interview with Talib Kweli in the L.A. Times where TK talks about an interview he did with DMX.

Anyone that was in his circle or actually talked to him said the same things about him. This man wasn’t a bad person. He just didn’t deserve the life he got at a young age. His trauma and speaking on it, however, helped MANY that identified with him.

What I DO Know

Reading medical charts has also brought this home. I’m in training on Medicaid charts (we train on these yearly at my job) and many of these people are addicts. And, when I read their charts and see their trauma…. sometimes I get very teary. I can’t imagine living the way many have lived and, therefore, I cannot blame them for their addiction. I can’t.

We really have to look outside ourselves and have a little bit more empathy. I also tell people to watch what they say because life will humble you. Yeah, you aren’t suffering from addiction right now but everyone is one trauma or accident away from mental illness or addiction.

I read the charts to know it. You can hurt your back and get addicted to opioids. So watch what you say and hope that people have enough of a heart not to laugh at you and blame you for your issues. Everyone isn’t you. Everyone didn’t live your life. Everyone doesn’t have your values and/or resources.

Again, be very careful in your speech.

Thanks for reading.

Published by tallgirl79

Blogging about life. Well, my life. As a black, bipolar, mom to a teenager with special needs, well, there is always a story to tell. From my aversion to having a man to my weird experiences while trying to avoid people, it's all there. Being me is.... different but it always makes for good blogs.

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