Saturday, March 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen & Sobriety.

One of the problems with burning bridges in such a public way,
with millions cheering you on, and you playing their rebel hero,
is that it's going to be that much harder to get to the place
where you accept that you need help & get it.

I was no choirboy when I was drinking and drugging, I hurt
myself & everybody around me, but I did what I did & said what
I said in obscurity. Nobody but my dwindling few friends
knew or cared. Nobody was cheering on my self-destruction,
and I wasn't playing the role of hero to millions of people
for my entertaining rebelliousness (AKA, insane & destructive

But Charlie has glorified himself to such an extreme point that
I can't imagine what it would take for him to admit he needs
help, short of some disaster. I believe he's technically
physically sober and clean, but obviously he's high on hubris
& obsessive grandiosity & some post-drug chemical phenomenon.
The gap between where he is and where he needs to be to get
help is enormous now.

The tension of that gap is going to lead him to start drinking
& using again. He has already said he might have a glass of
wine or champagne, because that's what we do to "celebrate."
That will be the beginning of the next run, and the next run
could be his last.

Making it worse is that if he does have a thought now & then
about how long he is going to be able to keep these high-wire
shenanigans up, about needing to ask for help, he's going to
think, Hey, I can't let my millions of followers down, I can't
admit that I need help, that I'm losing my mind, hurting bad,
etc. So, he's going to have to get further out before he hits
a place where he doesn't care what his cheering fans think,
where he needs to do whatever he needs to do to get his sanity

Plus, of course, as he says, he tried rehab and AA many times
before, and they "didn't work." They are for "normal people."
How difficult is it going to be to admit, in this one area of
alcohol/drugs at least, that he is normal, after all, and
needs help, like most of us discover sooner or later.

Obviously, he is special. I'm special, too. We're all special.
But alcoholics and addicts are decidedly not special in one
critical regard: we can't use alcohol or drugs without eventually
being overwhelmed by terrible consequences that take us to the
brink of madness or beyond, or prison, or early death. Whatever
I think of Charlie or any other alcoholic or addict personally,
there is a deeper connection that transcends everything else,
a brotherhood & sisterhood that wishes and prays that each of
us chooses to live, as human beings, not as God or gods, and
that we get on & stay on the path of healing & sweet sobriety
together, and I wish & pray that for Charlie, too.

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