Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Thoughts on Celebrity Rehab

By Steve Wilemon

Two things I’d much love to discuss in this article tonight have to do with something that most people at this day and age would not be combining in an article of this type. One has to do with a person. A very famous person in the early 50’s. A writer name Truman Capote. Who has of late has had some new found excitement brought to his name by the release of a major motion picture of the same name. The other matter that I will be discussing is that of a show that appears on the cable channel A & E. The show is most appropriately titled “Intervention”. Appropriately titled because the show deals only in the area of addiction. The show deals with every type of addiction from alcoholism to drug addiction to eating disorders and so on and so forth.

The reason that I am placing these two most powerful topics in the same article is to compare how back then from the early 50’s and late 60’s that the topic of addiction and fame has changed so much compared to the late 90’s and early zero’s and now into the later zero’s. That’s the only way that I’ve come to be able to describe our years in the 21st century. You see Truman Capote was and still is one of the most renowned, and rightfully respected writers of the 20th century. Some of his works include “Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, and “In Cold Blood’. But you must also see that Truman Capote was also an alcoholic, and in fact alcoholism was linked to his death at the age of 59. But note that addictions including alcoholism were not so much out rightly discussed back then in any kind of public way much less in the media. If you had a problem with drugs or alcohol and you weren’t willing to get help you had to just fight your “demons” on your own. Even in your own spare time as it was kind of looked at. Fight it when it’s convenient for everyone else. So you just had to keep your little secret under your hat as much as you could without letting the hat tip too much for people to talk about your little secret. Another fact from those days is there were not nearly as many places to receive treatment for addiction.

So in other words if you indeed had a problem in those days you either dealt with it accordingly in secret or you didn’t deal with it at all. Now let’s fast forward to today’s standards of addiction and how one should go about taking care of the problem. Of course now you have all of the twelve step programs, and of course the almost glamorous, lavish, hotel suite like places that place servants around you and clamor up beside you to give you the most wonderful drying out experience that one may have. Today addiction for a celebrity means that you’ve got to face your worst fears inside a bubble. At least that’s how I see it. The bubble starts as a small breath. A slow breathing that comes in an almost distraught state of being. Then the whole world, the whole universe starts to blow the deepest breath it can conjure up and then proceeds to shove the air in your direction, until it fills your lungs and begins to choke you down until you can’t breath. Then your vision becomes even more blurred along with your thoughts, until the only safe thing to stare at is the floor, and the only safe thoughts are the ones that let you give it all up and go far away from it all.

I think that’s why some of the high dollar rehabs are failing at their jobs. When a celebrity decides to announce publicly that he or she is entering a rehab it’s not exactly a sigh of relief for them. At least from the publics point of view. A normal person, deep down inside, really does not care about the chosen celebrity. It’s not a matter of being rude, or not wanting them to find help. In all actuality we don’t want to see them succeed. We want to see them fail to return over and over again until they’ve ended up doing public service on the highway so that we can drive by them and scream, Good Luck!, from no less than five feet away. But it’s only human nature. They aren’t our true family members. There’s no blood relation. We might even shed a tear if they died, but we wouldn’t attend the funeral, however we might watch the Biography Channel’s special on them in the following months. If I were a celebrity and I truly wanted help with my demons I would have to choose to do it alone in seclusion with no less than my family and close friends. Not tell anyone that I was entering rehab or even having problems with my life. I’d go to the most secluded rehab in the world because I’m a rich celebrity and get the real treatment I need.

In conclusion to my article I’d like to say that I know some celebrities out there try and lead a much more “normal” style of living outside of their work. Some celebs are not in any way interested in making a circus out of having true addiction problems. They don’t try to feed off of the media and make themselves more popular by popularizing drug use or alcoholism. That’s all that these celebs do that do that. They’re just popularizing the problem. Making it look like, “Hey it’s me! I’ve screwed up and I’m getting the star treatment for it!” It’s sickening. I’m sick about it literally. Those people need mental help more than help for addiction. Well maybe they’re just addicted to being a celebrity and they’re probably scared to death of ever losing that. I hope that someday all people will treat life threatening addictions like life threatening illnesses such as cancer, or aids. I promise you that you’ll never see someone having a press conference to say yes I have genital warts and I’m checking myself into this clinic to try and get rid of them. Hope everyone will understand and I’ll be back at work soon. Or will we? That’s a thought I’m leaving with you tonight. Thanks.


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