Archive for August, 2009

DJ AM and His Struggle With Addiction.

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by corecompany

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Few things are as irritating to me as nightclubs so I’m not very familiar with the scene.  It’s only because of the tales that clients weave into my office that I know the names of the a-list clubs and club kids. I did however know DJ AM. Not in the context of his music and DJing (is that a verb?) but from around campus. To me he seemed shy, insecure, talented but hugely self-conscious about his weight. What I remember very clearly is that he seemed so proud as the excess pounds began to melt off of him. He seemed to break free of what seemed to be an issue beyond the love of pizza for him.

            Addiction is often described as the 9-headed monster, as 4 trashcans and only 3 lids. When we get hold of one area, another pops up. DJAM was a young man when he had gastric bypass surgery. It could be argued he was a food addict, something that many suffering from addictive disorders struggle with.

            Shocking today to read the news of his death in a NYC apartment. The initial reports say that there was drug paraphenalia in the apartment. I am sure it will be a while before there is a substantiated cause of death, it would seem that he lost his battle with addictive disorder. How very sad for such a young guy to do well with his food issue only to loose another form of the same disease. Sad for his family, friends, the people around him and for his fans. Sad that he will be another cautionary tale of how young Hollywood needs a wake up call when we all need one about addiction.

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Chester French & Blink 182 Tour – RIP DJ AM!!!

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by corecompany

Teddy Kennedy, His Death and Alcoholism

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2009 by corecompany

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In combing the Internet about Ted Kennedy, there was very little written about his alcoholism. The New York Times obit made mention of his struggles with booze and although nobody seems to have much of an issue calling his first wife an alcoholic it seems that few wanted to do so with Ted himself. Sure there are lots of jokes about his legendary womanizing and being drunk in Washington hot spots, even that he was out drinking with his nephew the night William Kennedy Smith was charged with rape. Why is it so hard to say that Kennedy was an alcoholic?

            When people die, they seem to be canonized. It’ a cultural thing to have respect for the dead. Clearly Kennedy was a complicated man with a tremendous burden on his shoulders and did much to change, in my opinion, for the better social fabric of America.  He was accomplished as a politician, apparently a subpar student, and a revered paternal figure albeit far from perfect. To me he seems like the perfect alcoholic that didn’t find recovery. Imagine what this man could have accomplished had he not been so impaired by his drinking. One could argue that his drinking cost him, his family, and the country a presidency. No way to know what he could have done as President. I would suspect he could have done much considering he did much as a senator. It is largely agreed that had it not been for Chappaquiddick, Kennedy would have been President, carrying with him, the Kennedy name, prestige, feeling of optimism, and mystique. That died with the young woman he left at the scene of what seems to have been a drunk driving accident.

            Far from perfect, Kennedy was an iconic American figure and yes, an alcoholic. Reading about him there seems to be no shame or hesitation to talk about his cancer, and yet there is still walking on eggshells around his alcoholism. I guess we tip toe around drunks, even after they are dead.

Mexico’s New Drug Policy

Posted in Drug Reform with tags , on August 27, 2009 by corecompany

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Addicts almost never see the light; they have to feel the heat. How many of us have tried to reason with addicted love ones? Didn’t go too well did it? Or maybe it did for a short time but more than likely, the broken trust, failed attempts and sheer exhaustion won out. Is this what forced the hand of the Mexican government? Are they the hopeless parent, heartbroken child, or angry spouse?

In a New York Times article, Mark Lacey writes about Mexico’s newly adopted drug policy. In short, addicts are permitted to carry small amounts for personal use, if they are caught; they are referred to treatment. Mexico has been pummeled by the drug war. It is bloody and rages on for the rights to meet the endless, insatiable demand to the north. Of course someone will try to make money from this structure. Who wouldn’t want their business to be unregulated, untaxed, and recession resistant?  

With prisons overflowing, and no end in sight the Mexican government took another road, a road to steer and regulate what is already happening. There are those who say this will increase drug use. I don’t think it will. What I think is that people will be more honest about their use without the fear of incarceration, so it may look like more people are using.

Whatever the policy, people will want to get high. It’s something I think we are stuck with. Some people will always be powerless over feeling something other than their current reality. It may not be what they understand but I think the Mexican government just engaged in a measure of surrender and admission of powerlessness. That’s something all addicts who hope to get better must do and governments are no different.

Greg Giraldo Live at the Loft – part 2

Posted in Loft with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2009 by corecompany

Check out the rest of Greg’s show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6IsiWpIBrw

Greg Giraldo Live at Loft 107

Posted in Loft on August 17, 2009 by corecompany

check out Greg Giraldo’s recent performance at Loft 107.  (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REenayBWvn4

Josh Hamilton Batting 1000

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by corecompany

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Recovery is seldom perfect. In the case of Josh Hamilton, the talented Texas Ranger and winner of the home run derby his recovery seems to be much less than perfect, but maybe it is.  One of the mistakes that I think people make when they are in recovery is the expectation that they are “fixed” and that they won’t or shouldn’t have set backs, slips, and relapses. They will, everyone does. There are all kinds of stories out there of people “never picking up a drink again” but that is rare and can work against people who don’t share that experience.

            Recovery from alcoholism is a work in progress. It’s like a batting average, we won’t ever bat 1000. Even when the individual in recovery doesn’t pick up a drink they won’t win every battle with the attitudes and behaviors that addicted people share.

            Josh Hamilton has some difficult hurdles in his process, a measure of celebrity and being under public scrutiny, youth (he is only 28 years old), the pressure of fatherhood and what would have to be a strained marriage. I’s just not reasonable to think he won’t have setbacks no matter how chummy with Jesus he is.

            What’s great about this situation is that he owned it. He didn’t do the typical addict thing: rationalize, minimize, justify, hide, and blame.  He has the support of his wife (maybe too much?), his team, and seems like some good perspective in the media and on the internet.

            Hamilton did a great job of what to do after a slip, get back in the batters box and keep trying to bat 1000 and accept that you will never get there.