Some cool coverage for the new website. Addiction and Recovery, straight up! NY Times Article
Archive for Alcoholism
What’s wrong with this story? Homeless guy gets sudden fame, cleans up his act, his mother goes on TV to proclaim her “prayers have been answered”. There is nothing wrong with this, everyone loves a second chance, a redemption, a transformation and it could be that’s what we are seeing. Maybe not. Williams is a self disclosed addict, to me, without knowing the man he looks like he smokes crack. There is a very distinct look that crack smokers have, and he has it. He says he has been clean for two years. Maybe. Hate to be the cynic but…a crack smoker with inaccurate reporting (lies), just wouldn’t be that weird. I am all for addicts getting a second chance and fair treatment in alignment with other chronic recurring diseases, so I am happy the guy caught a break. I guess what is wrong with this is that, if he makes some money, he is VERY vulnerable. Addicts can’t tolerate currency, crack addicts more so. It is likely he will burn this chance, pure intentions and all, the addiction, left unmonitored will win. It will beat him, beat the The Cleveland Cavs, and put more “how could he?” stories into the media. Is there a solution? You bet there is. A plan, a recovery plan, complete with expectations, mental health treatment, accountability, verification, a system of fund disbursement that gives him no more that 20 dollars at a time without a process and a good reason to get more. The solution is being honest about what he can realistically handle right now, grow what he is able to self regulate, expect set backs and imperfections and get rid of the idea that the treatment for an addict is a job and his mother crying on TV. While somewhat heartwarming to give a guy a break, I don’t think the NBA will handle this well. It could be a great underdog made good story but I kind of doubt it. Maybe he can be on the next round of “celebrity rehab”. I wish the GM of the Cleveland Cabs would call me, I’ll help them out with this, so in the unlikely event they read my blog, nobody but my mom and her bridge group does, call me, let’s make this a big win for addicts everywhere.
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.