Charlotte Dawson was a media personality in Australia and New Zealand who died last week in Sydney at the age of 47. Though no one seems willing to say so explicitly, all the media reports seem to imply that her death was by suicide following a long battle with depression.
Not having lived in Australasia for a long time (and not being particularly a consumer of the kind of media she was involved in) I don’t know a great deal about her, but anyone’s death at such a young age is certainly incredibly sad. Of course there are probably lessons that might be drawn from her death about the inability of beauty and fame to satisfy the real needs of the human heart, but that’s not what I want to comment on here. Rather I was struck by this snippet from the Sydney Morning Herald’s latest item on this subject -
Another [friend] said Dawson was on her own trajectory and she had the will of an ox: ”You could try to steer her in one direction but she operated on her own agenda and she was such a strong-willed woman.”
According to one friend, Dawson was fixated on an anti-anxiety drug that she thought would help her quit drinking.
I just find it interesting and ironic that people thought she was such a strong-willed person, and yet her strength of will was simply not enough to stop her from drinking, even though she clearly felt she needed to and deeply wanted to. Was she an alcoholic? I have no idea. But I do think it gives us some insight into the human condition to see how inadequate the human will is to address the real challenges of our lives.