David Cassidy - Image from Associated Press
When I was a boy of about 10 years old, a television series debuted in the fall of 1970 that would remain a family television staple for decades to come. It was named, "The Partridge Family". I wasn't sure I'd like it at first, assuming it was just a lesser incarnation of the Brady Bunch, but as it turned out, I liked it very much. So did millions of other Americans, and eventually, people around the world.
The premise was cute, and the cast was a great ensemble, each talented in their own right, but the breakout star was heartthrob David Cassidy. David, who was 10 years my senior, acted, wrote songs, sang and danced. In fact, he was the only real musician in the cast. David's star shone so brightly at one point that he performed concerts before thousands of frenzied fans around the country on weekends WHILE his Partridge Family series was shooting in California during the week. Producers were concerned he'd burn out.
Well, that was decades ago, and David lived through a lot of life's ups and downs since then. One got the best of him. Alcoholism. This month, here in South Florida, we lost David Cassidy to liver failure. Something about David's passing touched me, and is what prompted me to write this article. Not because I ever knew him. Frankly, I've never met him. It was his last words to his 30 year old daughter Katie that struck me. I've borrowed those words for the title of this article.
David Cassidy had lived a full life in the early years of his career. He'd had career success, fame, money, homes, cars, women, and two children. All of the stuff that we men work so hard to someday achieve. As I said, he'd had his ups and downs, sure, but overall, he'd seen more of the "sweet life" than most people ever would. Yet how did he sum it all up in the end? "So much wasted time." You see, despite it all, David suffered for a long time with alcoholism. Who knows for how long, actually? It's very easy to hide at first. As someone who has worked to help alcoholics, I can tell you that it's an insidious addiction that, like all other addictions, slowly demands more and more of you. Your time, your money, your relationships, and even your body. Whether you eventually beat it or not, in the end, you do come to the realization that life is indeed short, and that the time you spent succumbing to the addiction was "so much wasted time."
Unfortunately, I don't have a happy ending to this article, except to say that if you're reading this and you have this problem or know someone who does, it's not too late. Anyone who is struggling with an addiction is entitled to get help. Walk into any hospital and tell them why you're there. They'll guide you to the right people. Like Nike says, "Just Do It." Do it for yourself and those who love you. Be well.