Wednesday, March 02, 2011
In Defense, Yes, In Defense of Charlie Sheen (a little...)
It’s been hard lately to avoid the overexposed Charlie Sheen. He is all over the morning news, which, in a lovely twist of events, I have been able to watch (the news, that is) a little of this past week. Thank you, tea set and magnets, for occupying my children’s early morning hours. I have never seen an episode of the show he is on and I’m not a follower of his film work. And I don’t know much about his life, except for the broad strokes as covered by tabloids and gossip columnists. But I won’t let that stop me from weighing in.
I have two comments, maybe three. One, it is indeed interesting that his show was halted after he insulted the producer. Make fun of management and bam! the show is shut down. Yet, beating his wife and holding a knife to her throat while threatening to kill her? Destroying a suite in The Plaza after some sort of binge? The show must go on! Interesting….
Second, if he is as messed up as everyone is saying he is, then wouldn’t the media be, you know, exploiting him? Hmm. Everyone is quick to say he is crazy or high or losing it or not sober or insane, but damn if he isn’t good for their ratings. Last time I checked, that is indeed exploitive. I find it all a little sickening. And yet I can’t stop watching either.
Third, I think that he actually has a provocative message that is getting lost in the mix of his bizarre verbiage. I am fascinated by his outspoken break with AA. Clearly, he is done with AA. Not only is his done, he is espousing deep hatred for the organization. This time, he got (is getting?) clean by doing it himself at home, without the support of AA. And, believe it or not, I admire him for this.
Let me explain: I know a few people — whose sobriety I truly admire — who are in the program, and swear by it. I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to sit in folding chairs in a church basement with a cup of bad, lukewarm coffee in my hand. I wanted a sponsor who I could call in weak moments. I wanted a blueprint for sobriety. I wanted to tell my stories to an audience of people who would get it. Seriously, AA is a dream for emotionally needy/barnacle people like myself! Alas, I tried AA for a while and did not find a fit for me. I was very, very disappointed.
At first I had no faith that I could do it alone. But I had to. So I dug in my heels and did this stop drinking thing by, as Avery would say, my own self. Well, I did have Nicole and the support of most of my friends, but, in the realm of recovery world, I did it alone. No AA, no therapist, so counselor or social worker. No nothing. And here I am, eight years plus later, living proof that you CAN do it without AA, or a counselor, or a therapist, or anything. You CAN do this alone, in your own home, and I think that is a really important message that needs to get out there.
There are many people don’t try to get sober because AA and counselors and rehab aren’t their bag and they don’t think they can do it alone. And they can. Is Charlie Sheen the best spokesperson for this message? Right now, not really (again: that verbiage). But he has the biggest megaphone right now. Too bad a good message is getting buried in bad interviews. And, his name will most likely soon be a verb.
Coming up, mini breakdowns, compliments of Google. And, I’m looking into wordpress and its fancy easy import.
Pictured, Madeline and her Match Game.