Whatever Wednesday: The Exploitation of Charlie Sheen

For the past three years, I have been attending, off and on, family recovery meetings with my husband. There’s childcare. The meetings have grown from a small group of 10-15 to a group almost three or four times that size.

I have sat in group with hurting people. I can’t disclose their issues because what is said in group, stays in group. It is a safe place in which to heal from your addictions and the very real wounds they cause within you and in the ones you love.

Three years ago this month, actually, I was in a car accident. Not only was my car totaled, my life as I knew it would soon follow suit.

I was not the one high.

My husband was the addict.

He spent money on marijuana instead of on our car insurance.

He spent money on marijuana instead of on vehicle registration.

He even fashioned a FAKE sticker for our license plate, y’all.

Addicts lie. It’s part of the lifestyle.

Here in Georgia, driving without insurance AND vehicle registration is a jailable offense.


Oh yes.

Not even three months after the birth of our son and I found myself sitting in a jail cell. For something I didn’t do. For something my husband had lied to me about because of his addiction.

We never dealt with the mania that Charlie Sheen is now exhibiting on a daily (if not hourly) basis.

We never thrown into a media circus because of our issue.

Our issue had ripples too – it hurt me, it hurt our kids, our families, enraged my brothers, destroyed my milk supply (I had to put our son on formula at 6 months old when he was diagnosed as failure to thrive.)

We still deal with the fallout today. Sure, we’re better. But we’re far from perfect. And we sure as hell aren’t screaming it from the roof tops.

I’m not a professional. I’m the wife of a recovering addict disgusted with the media for the giving Charlie Sheen the time of day instead of encouraging him to get help. I’m disgusted that this is happening. I’m disgusted that Charlie Sheen is being called crazy, insane, nuts, and several other offensive things. As this week has worn on, I have watched my Twitter stream explode with Charlie Sheen jokes. Jokes about addicts. About how crazy they are. Sure, Charlie Sheen is the case in point and I get that, but I also see the many faces of the addicts I see on Thursday nights when I read these jokes. They are hurting, people. Hurting. They, thankfully, are getting help. Charlie Sheen is not. Instead, the media is literally glorifying his lifestyle. They are putting his words and his mania on display. And people are eating it up.

It’s sick.

It’s reprehensibly irresponsible.

You wonder why we have a bully issue? Why we have kids who think it’s okay to make fun of people who have issues and act strange?

Perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror, America.

Perhaps it’s time.


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0 thoughts on “Whatever Wednesday: The Exploitation of Charlie Sheen

  1. Lula Lola

    Wow! I haven’t followed this story. In fact, just asked on twitter this morning what was up with him. I caught a bit on the radio about him. It’s sad when the unraveling of a man, a father, a son, a human, gets people buzzing this much. Buzzing but not helping.
    You’re right to turn the spot light to the real people involved in these stories. Great post!

  2. JourneyBeyondSurvival

    AMEN. As someone who experienced psychosis, I think it is atrocious that anyone is thinking of this in a manner other than sympathetic, get help, shut it down kind of a way.

    In a week, a month, a year, he will wonder why everyone just abandoned him. Or perhaps he will feel they were justified.

    And he will simply hate himself.

    Why is this acceptable?

  3. Miranda

    The first time I watched his interview on Dateline I was amused in the way that people are when they drive past a trainwreck. I rubber-necked.

    The second time I watched it?

    Wow. This is so sad to me that he’s being exploited in this manner. Sure, he thinks he’s okay and until he admits he has a problem there’s nothing anyone can do to help him, but we CAN help him by turning off the cameras and choosing to not feed into the frenzy, you know? At some point, it’s not only the media’s responsibility to stop. It’s our responsibility to just keep on driving.

  4. Yael Saar

    Yes! you are right on all counts, especially when it comes to the issues of bullying. And wow, sending you love and hugs for dealing with all the hard stuff you’ve got, and for handling it all so gracefully (even when it’s messy) and for being there for all of us. You so rock, and all you do is helpful.

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