Feb 28, 2011

Charlie Sheen and Addiction

Forgive me as I know the posts about Charlie Sheen are abundant right now. But as I tend to do, I look for the good to come from the ugly.  Clearly what Charlie Sheen is doing recently is the ugly.  Unless you're the recipient of one the expensive new cars that he has supposedly gifted to several people of late, you can't deny that something is NOT right with Charlie Sheen.  Despite the audio clip I heard (check out the full clip below) that includes supposedly clean drug test results, Sheen is showing all sorts of classic signs of addiction.  
And I have to admit that I laughed, out loud, this morning as I listened to the audio of him ranting about how he's only high on "charlie sheen" but you can't get a script for it because "it'll melt your face off," I still feel bad for him.  If you've ever felt the effects of addiction in your own family you know that sometimes, it's not easy to have any sympathy for an addict.  They do horrible things without any regard for who they are hurting.  They spend your mortgage payment on drugs and they miss lots of important holidays because they are consumed by their addiction.  It becomes hard to even remember the person you loved inside the addiction.  You can easily fall into a hatred for that person.  If you're lucky, you can find help for yourself and begin to learn how to hate the addiction and not the person.  You can learn to set boundaries so the choices the addict makes don't control you or your emotions.  But it is still a hard, hard road.
But it seems, if you are rich enough to have people surround you because of the good times and things you provide them, it seems that addiction can take on a whole different beast.  When the average person becomes wrapped in addiction, it doesn't typically take long before those around them can't pretend there isn't a problem.  For someone who's never dealt with addiction, you might actually be surprised how long it DOES take for you to discover and accept an addict is using.  But comparatively, it doesn't take long to blow through any excess you have and the need for drugs takes its toll on your finances.  But when you're making bank like Charlie Sheen, he has a longer way to fall.  It is a very rare occasion that an addict will see the need for change before they hit rock bottom.  Bottom looks different for everyone but the bigger your parachute the longer it will take to get there.  Sheen not only has greater amounts of money to blow through, but he has surrounded himself with essentially what amounts to groupies who are likely telling him exactly what he wants to hear.  Although an addict will never hear the truth until they are ready, I think the bigger the buffer of butt kissing folks you have, the longer it will take for those you may be trying to tell you you need to stop to break through. 
Last week I heard part of an interview with Martin Sheen where he said that we need to treat Charlie as if he was sick with any other disease.  He cites cancer as an example, saying if he had cancer we'd be lifting him up and supporting him.  And while I do fully agree that addiction is a disease, its not as simple as just knowing you need to stop and stopping, I also think there are other ways this analogy needs to be applied.  If Charlie Sheen had cancer, would everyone around him, especially those how honestly cared about him, simply sit around waiting for him to die?  Or would they constantly be doing anything and everything they could to help convince him to get the help or treatment he needed.  As I said, he won't get help until he is ready so they might turn blue int he face talking about treatment, but maybe it would need to go further than that and some tough love would be required.  But as long as those around him continue to enable him he will continue to float softly and slowly down, possibly ending up like so many other addicted celebs before he hits any other type of rock bottom that allows him to make serious change before it's too late.

So for that fact, thinking that he is surrounded by too many people enabling his addiction because they are reaping the benefits of it, that I truly feel sorry for Charlie Sheen.  It may sound silly to say this of someone who will make more money in a week (assuming he gets to go back to work) than I may make ever, but despite anything he says right now, I believe that is one very lonely, very hurting man!

Have you dealt with addiction first hand? (If you are currently going through the addiction of a loved one and need an ear, my email is available on the upper right sidebar.  I am not an official expert but have much experience first hand and am more than willing to listen and share what I've learned personally.) Do you believe that Charlie Sheen is drug free?


  1. No I don't think Charlie Sheen is clean & sober. Clearly there is something going on with the man. His 3rd marriage has ended and he has had numerous domestic violence calls made against him. I heard recently that he is asking for raise before he returns to work. They would be stupid to give in and go through with the seasons production. Just end it(the show) already and teach him a lesson. I am afraid like you Lisa that he will end up like so many other actors that never had that chance to hit bottom and have their life ended bc of their addiction.

  2. I don't think he is either. this hits very close to home, as i have people in my extended family going through this right now and it is SO hard.

  3. I don't think he's any where near clean. His behavior says it all and I feel bad for the people in his life it affects everyday. I just pray for an enlightening moment for him to come around. Following from Mingle Monday. Hope you can follow back! Have a fabulous evening!

  4. He is such a train wreck and there's no way he is sober!

  5. I don't think he is drug-free. I'm watching him right now on Piers Morgan and it's just so sad to see such a trainwreck. I feel more sorry for his children.

  6. Yeah, some close family of mine has been dealing with alcoholism and other misc. addictions. its not fun stuff when you can see so clearly but they cannot!
    It is sad to see someone wasting their life away on stupid crap. and like you said, it is hard to not hate the person doing it, and actually hate the addiction instead.

  7. Does it really matter what anyone around us does? We are adults, we are either controlling or enabling ourselves. He's out of control, and he can't blame anyone else. It's his character.

  8. He is definitely nowhere near clean, and it is sad that he is so far gone that he doesn't even realize he has a big problem.

  9. Did you see he got a Twitter account yesterday and is already close to a million followers?!



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