Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I have seen a lot of television shows recently with individuals "in recovery." For the most part, these characters are alcoholics, drug abusers, with an occasional sex addict thrown in for good measure. I assume writers feel the need to keep up with Hollywood, where anyone who is anyone is in some kind of rehab. For instance, David Duchovny is reported to have just gotten out of a rehab facility for his sexual addiction. Spears and Lohan are currently out of rehab as well. Locklear may be going in.

It's not that I don't sympathize with people who actually have real problems. (Not passing judgment on the rich and infamous, because I only know what the media wants me to know. I'm in no position to determine if these people have real problems are not.) But people with addictions are sad, because they do have a problem they are unable to control, whether it's from weakness or genetics.

I do, however, have my own perspective on "recovery" and "rehab." I am in a wheelchair after being in a head on collision with a drunk driver in early June. Recovery to me isn't trying to figure out why I can't walk; recovery is trying to let my body heal so one day I may be able to walk. Rehab isn't a place I can check in and out of depending upon my mood; rehab is a torturous place where a woman stretches my broken elbow until I scream, and another woman makes my knees bend while I try not to cry.

Recovery and rehab are both agonizing for me. I am in some kind of pain almost constantly. I don't know how long it will be before I am back to normal, if ever, and if I will ever be able to do the things I used to. Simple things like playing ball outside with my kids, or walking the dog seem like a fantasy a hundred years in my future. I've forgotten what it is like to walk into the bathroom, climb in the tub, and take a bath. Or drive myself to Wal Mart to buy a treat for one of my daughters' classes.

So forgive me if I get angry- and yes, jealous- when I see someone who has everything but common sense throwing a perfectly good life away. Poor Hollywood actor can't keep it in his pants. Poor Pop Tarts can't help partying without their panties. I don't feel sorry for myself, so I'm sure as hell not going to feel sorry for them. I wonder what people like that would do if they were faced with problems such as trying to make the mortgage, or trying to feed their kids, or trying to walk after being destroyed in a car wreck, instead of how to control their baser urges.

It seems as if Hollywood writers feel compelled to write a character with an addiction, just as they feel compelled to write a character who is the token gay person. I like good characters if they are well-written, three dimensional characters, whether they are addicted or not, gay or straight, black or white. What I can't stand is when writers create caricatures of addicts, or gay people, or foreigners, or whatever the stereotype, because it is the THING that Hollywood is doing right now.

Maybe that's why I read so much.


Hegemom said...


Dr. Marion Carroll said...

Well, I just stumbled on this Holli! I had no idea. Going to pass this on to my wife. Although she been in your situation a lot longer she might happen to learn something from you. Good job!!