You know, right now, the most important thing in my life is to make sure you understand that, first of all, I thank God I’m alive today, and I mean that. You see, I spent too many years of my life thinking that the big party was the whole thing. It took me quite a while to find out that the real deal is to be able to be enough of a person on your own to know when somebody loves and cares about you. You see, we are here, as far as I can tell, to help each other — our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our enemies. That’s to help each other, not hurt each other. Sometimes, to help them, we've got to help ourselves, so that we’ll know that they’re around in the first place. You see, it’s a big world out there with enough pain and misery in it, without me going around and helping it out by hurting myself, and consequently, those that care about me. What I’m trying to get across to you is: Please take care of yourself and those that you love, because that’s what we are here for, that’s all we’ve got, and that is what we can take with us.
From a speech during "Life Without You" in Philadelphia (June 30, 1987) at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. 
I hit rock bottom, but thank God my bottom wasn't death.
Walkin' the Tightrope, steppin' on my friends
Walkin' the tight rope, it was a shame and a sin.
Walkin the tight rope between wrong and right.
Walkin the tight-rope both day and night.
"Tightrope", In Step
Up and down that road in our worn out shoes.
Talkin' 'bout good things and singin' the blues.
You went your way and I stayed behind.
We both knew it was just a matter of time.
You're liv-in out dreams of you on top.
My mind is achin' and, Lord it won't stop.
That's how it happened livin' life by the drop.