Kurt Cobain is best remembered as being the front man for the grunge band Nirvana, and for his early death, by suicide in 1997. Of all the drugs that Cobain used, it is his use of herointhat is considered to have been his downfall, leading to increasing depression, and finally suicide.
Kurt Cobain was born into a musical family of Irish, Scottish and German ancestry that originally settled in Ontario, Canada before moving to Washington USA where Kurt was born in 1967. His early childhood was happy, and he is said to have taken an interest in music, as might be expected in a family in which an uncle and aunt played in bands and a great uncle was an Irish tenor. Cobain was also a prolific artist who would make character sketches – encouraged by his grandmother who was a professional artist. Kurt is said to have been seven when his parents divorced and that event shattered his self esteem and made him feel ashamed. He wanted his family to stay together, and be a normal family, but that could not be. Although his father had said that he would not re-marry, he did, and Cobain was upset by that. Cobain lived with his father, new wife and her children, only to be further unsettled by the birth of a step-brother in 1979. Kurt maintained that the family that he lived with was “not his real family”. His mother had moved into an abusive relaionship that Kurt was witness to. As a rebellious teen, Kurt was fostered out to anyone who would have him, a time when both the Christian and Buddhist religions greatly influenced Kurt’s life. That he later performed in a band called Nirvana and identified himself as being Buddhist, and a Jain – is indicative of the the strong desire that Cobain had for “freedom from pain, suffering and the external world”.
Other young children have survived the divorce of their parents, and not become suicidal. There seems to be more to Cobain’s problems, that eventually led him to heroin use, and to suicide.
Throughout his life Cobain appears to have been in search of a personal identity, a defined sense of purpose, a problem common to those designated as the X generation, those born somewhere in between the somewhat coddled, post-war “baby boomers” and Generation Y.
As children, Generation X suffered a transition by their parents, from the traditional values and family structure of the 1950′s- to new technologies, social mobility. and divorce instead of marriage until death do us part, for better or worse. As children, Generation X had to cope with the emotional debris, the fallout of social change.
Perhaps in envy of other people, who he thought had happier, together family lives, and with shame and anger, Kurt rejected normal social engagement. He deliberately failed in sport, that was his way of expressing anger against his father, and pretended to be “gay” so as to encourage people to leave him alone. Cobain says that he hated people, and sought refuge from his conflicted emotions in religions that he saw as promoting “non-attachment”, as a defense against the pain and betrayal that his “trust” in adults had caused. Cobain found emotional expression in his art and music, and relief in drugs. Shame is often found at the root of depressive and anti-social behavior – shame that very often has nothing to do with any moral failing on the part of the individual who feels deeply immersed in his “shame”. Anger and hate are ways of avoiding shameful feelings. Today divorce, blended families and illegitimacy are more commonplace – more easy for a child to deal with as being “normal”. Departures by our parents from the “ideal” need not be a source of personal shame today, and are more openly talked about, acknowledged and accepted.
Another Seattle grunge performer, who had some connection with Cobain was Mark Lanegan – who like Cobain, as a teen sought refuge in drugs, to escape a dysfunctional family background. Unlike Kurt, Lanegan was able to find his way forward – greatly influenced by grunge musicians such as Van Conner, and his brother Gary Lee. Now in their mid-forties they continue with their respective successful musical careers. Born into Generation X, between hip hop and grunge, they have found a middle way.
Cobain however did not find in life the answer to his problems and his death remains an enigma. He entered rehab following an intervention, but he later escaped. He was found dead days later. A suicide note to “Boddah”. his imaginary childhood friend, said that he had not found “life” in music for too many years now. Kurt Cobain had issues about personal shame, and adult hypocrisy.
Too many people, without help, have had to deal with adult issues, at an early age, and inappropriately take into themselves feelings of guilt, failure and shame, that get in the way of them having happy, normal adult relationships.
People need to remove these “blockages” to enjoy a happy life.
Not aware that they can be helped they choose instead, to self medicate with drugs.
There is no doubt that Cobain’s recurrent stomach pains, and inability to breathe freely, were related to emotional inhibition, and being of psychosomatic origin, were disbelieved and untreated by doctors who were looking for a physical cause.
Most times people can say what events in life have upset them, sometimes they are not sure. If you are into substance abuse, and want to bring an end to it, one way or the other – don’t go the way of Kurt Cobain.
Your life has purpose and worth.
Choose a comprehensive program for drug rehabilitation, that will
*enable complete recovery -
* help you to overcome substance abuse, heroin and addiction, and
* enable you to discover your true potential for living a happier life.
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