Smokey Robinson had a hidden addiction that didn’t surface until the age of 41. When he fell, he fell hard. Typically we hear of addictions like this starting at a younger age, when peer pressures are more prevalent, but Smokey explained how his hidden addiction started so late…
Smokey Explains His Prior Years-Long Addiction
“I think it happened to me so late because of the fact that I was …” He exhales. “I was always, and I still am, open to somebody in my camp saying, “No, that’s not right, or what do you think you’re doing?’ I have those kind of people around me. Berry Gordy being the main one of them. I appreciate that as a person and I’m very happy that that’s’ there.
But when you divorce yourself from these types of people in your life, then you have a tendency to be able to run amok, when you surround yourself with yes people. And that’s what most people who go amok do – they surround themselves with yes people. Anything you do is fine ’cause you’re you and you’re popular. And that’s dangerous.
“I thought that it couldn’t happen to me. That’s the cunning of drugs. I could never become addicted! ‘I love sports, and I run, and I take care of myself. I can overcome this.’ Because when I was younger I used to smoke a whole lot of weed. But weed was always manageable for me. I could have some killer weed and put it away for a year and not touch it! It never had the handle on me. I had the handle on it.
“But when I started dibbling and dabbling on the cocaine, that was a whole other animal. And I never thought I could become an addict. But I did.” He ignored his friends.
Although Smokey was heavily addicted to cocaine, he had a thing against heavy alcohol drinking because when growing up, he said he watched his Dad and his other family members, some of whom were prostitutes and junkies, all become addicted to alcohol and have horrific results in life:
“If I have some sushi, I’ll have Saki. But I never drank. First of all, I never liked the taste of it. And I grew up in my neighborhood, seeing everyone, everything. Alcoholics, junkies, prostitutes, what have you. And many of them were in my family, OK?
And the alcoholics were the most pitiful of them all. They’d be standing there talking to the wall. Cussing the wall out – there was nobody there! Peeing on themselves. They were pitiful.
Then alcohol had an adverse effect on me because [of] my dad … [He] was “Clark Kent” Sunday to Friday – just mild-mannered, sweetie-pie! Friday, he’d get paid, him and his friends – who were buddy-buddy all week long, they were brothers, they loved each other – they’d be drunk, fighting each other. It was just an adverse kind of drug for me, alcohol.
Friends Leon Isaac Kennedy & Berry Gordy To The Rescue
Smokey said actor, Leon Isaac Kennedy— (best known for his films Penitentiary and Body and Soul; and for being married to Jayne Kennedy)– did something for him that he’ll always be grateful for:
“I have two best friends, Leon Isaac Kennedy and Berry Gordy. God sent Leon to come get me and say, ‘Hey man, what are you doing to yourself?’ So Leon came and got me and took me to a prayer service.
The night I went I hadn’t done any drugs beforehand because I knew I was going to a prayer service. However, I was still a junkie. [He rubs his hands on his knees anxiously as though he’s still amazed at what transpired that night.]
During the service, the pastor prayed for him:
“And she told me that God had told her I was coming. And she told me all the things that were happening to me, physically and emotionally and mentally – which I shared with no on one earth! No one knew. She told me every one of ’em that night. She said God had showed her what was going on.
And I walked in that church an addict, and I came out free. May of 1986. Never looked back.”
Smokey began speaking at gang meetings and juvenile detention centers, giving them this message:
“When you turn it over to God, you have turned it over…and you don’t have to worry about it anymore after that.”
Source: Jet Magazine; TheTelegraph
Today Smokey has turned over a new leaf and continues to live a healthy lifestyle. He hasn’t eaten red meat since 1972 and he does yoga regularly.
Major props to Smokey for kicking his drug habit cold turkey like that. He’s a great example of if we want to do something bad enough, it’s possible to acquire the will, the drive, and the mindset to conquer any uphill hurdle placed before us, regardless of how late in life we may start that journey. The skill to know how to conquer it, will come through our persistent determination to make it happen.
-ILoveOldSchoolMusic, Old School news with a new point of view