Whether you agree with me or not, the title sums up the truth of this situation.
I admit that I know almost nothing about Ariana Grande besides her name, which I hear fairly often. I do know she’s had a shitty couple of weeks, but what I want to focus on today is her current ordeal: Being shamed for the death of her ex-boyfriend of two years.
So who is this ex-boyfriend? I had to look this up, but his name was Mac Miller, and he was also an entertainer with a fan base. Yesterday, at the age of 26, Miller was found dead in his California home from a drug overdose. Grande and Miller had dated from 2016 until May 2018, and his struggle with sobriety was notably a major cause of the dissolution of their relationship. Grande is 25 years old.
While taking drugs is a choice, when it turns into addiction, it stops being about simply not taking drugs anymore; it is a major psychological and physiological issue that requires a lifetime of support to truly overcome. Let me just put that out there. I’m not insinuating that Miller was choosing to continue with his addiction or that I think overcoming addiction is a simple, straightforward path.
Having said that, the partners in any situation that involves addiction go through all kinds of hell. Plenty of relationships fall apart due to the stress of the situation, and this particular relationship was one of those. It’s not unique. Unfortunately, some months after the breakup, the partner who lived with addiction ended up succumbing to the disease. I’m not going to speculate why that happened, or whether there was enough access to resources, and all that – I think everyone in the USA knows that there are never enough resources to help with any problem like this, partially due to the stigma, and because certain members of society would rather fund themselves than support other folks BUT I DIGRESS.
What I hate about the death of Mac Miller is the reaction of many fans, who have turned on Ariana Grande, blaming her for what happened. Again, this is not unique. It’s fucked up and wrong, but not unique. There is this idea that women are expected to fix broken men. Some women exclusively go for the type of men who seem to need “fixing”. I once worked with a woman who was attracted to her “bad boy” now-ex husband, who was taking drugs and having numerous affairs, because she thought she could change him. Spoiler alert: She could not. And it took her many, many years of unhappy marriage to finally come to that conclusion.
When Grande and Miller began dating, she was 23 years old. No matter which way you slice it, that is very young to work through both her own baggage and somebody else’s. Of course, every human being is problematic and has their own bullshit they drag along, and I’m not saying that people should either expect their partners to be perfect or ignore/not help them through their struggles. It makes a lot of sense that she would be supportive through her partner’s challenges. But, again, she was 23-25 years old during their relationship, and addiction carries a lot of heavy baggage for the partner who is at an age where she is trying to figure out her own life. If the struggle of supporting Miller through his addiction/recovery was too much for her to handle, there should not have been any shame in her separating herself from the relationship. No one should feel obligated to stick with a partner at the cost of their own mental, emotional, financial, or physical health (and, once again, I have no idea what the specifics of their relationship were like, as I only just found out the guy’s name today, and I also couldn’t care less about that kind of shit).
Currently, Grande is being verbally attacked by people who think she is to blame for Miller’s untimely demise. Somehow, she was not good enough as a partner, or her choosing to move on from the relationship was the cause of the overdose. None of those things, however, are true. Miller is the one whose responsibility it was to take care of himself and work on his recovery. His addiction is what killed him, not his ex-girlfriend’s choice to leave after two years.
I feel very strongly about this because, as I said, it seems to be some kind of expectation that women can and ought to magically fix whatever problems their male partners have. No matter what a man may do in a relationship, somehow it always comes around to it being the “fault” of the woman. And ladies? Let’s drop this shit. These men are grown-ass adults. At what point should they take responsibility for themselves? If a woman struggles with addiction, does anybody ever point a finger at her boyfriend or husband? Why do we hold ourselves accountable for our own actions but give men a break? Do you see how ridiculous this sounds? Because it is.
If you’re one of the people who believe that Ariana Grande is even the slightest bit responsible for Mac Miller’s fatal drug overdose: You’re wrong. Be upset at addiction. Be upset at the lack of resources and support for people with addiction. Be upset that there is a drug problem in this country that nobody seems to want to take responsibility for or want to eradicate (outside of you awesome grassroots recovery organizations, many of which are founded and run be former addicts). Be upset that it was easier for Mac Miller to reach for drugs than it was to reach for HELP. But don’t be upset at a young woman who broke up with her boyfriend. It was never her job to cure him.
Finest Nerd Czarina, resident news-hater, signing out~