Monday, February 26, 2007

Celebs in rehab

Celebrity & addiction, they seem to go hand in hand, don’t they? I know that many celebs have a bad influence on each other (Think Paris & Britney, Kurt & Courtney, Kate Moss & Pete Doherty, Whitney & Bobbie, etc.) but occasionally, people in ‘the industry’ reach out to others when they think they need it.

I was a bit of a wild child too back in the MTV days & strangely enough, I got lectured to by two of the biggest addicts in music history; Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Boy George.

Steve Tyler (who’s a lovely man, by the way) once gave me a long lecture on addictions before handing me a bottle of whiskey. We were at a party somewhere in Scandinavia to celebrate MTV’s birthday (can’t remember which one) & at this party they were only serving wine, beer and soft drinks. I didn’t drink beer or wine & wanted to drink alcohol, preferably vodka. So I was ‘on a mission’ and when Steve saw that I wasn’t going to give up until I found some hard liquor, he went to look for some on the Aerosmith tour bus. He returned with a bottle of whiskey, but looked rather worried & wouldn’t hand me the bottle until I’d given him the chance to tell me about his life, his struggle with addictions, etc. Obviously, I told him he had nothing to worry about. I was not addicted to anything and was only having some fun. I have to admit though; I did drink way too much that night and got into a bit of a pickle, so Steve’s advice didn’t really do that much for me.

And years later, I was lectured again. This time it was in a hotel room where we were continuing the night’s party. Hotel rooms have always been the real ‘VIP’ rooms to get in to, not the ones at the club. Most parties only really got going once people got back to the hotels (this is why hotel managers often weren’t too keen on ‘industry people’ staying with them, they caused to many complaints by other guests)

Boy George sat me down that night, away from the others, and gave me a long lecture on the dangers of addictions. I can’t remember exactly what he said, as I was a bit trashed at the time. But I do remember thinking: ‘Cool, I’ve now been lectured by two of the worst addicts in music history. All I need now is for Keith Richards to lecture me & I’ve done the whole list’
(Boy George, by the way, is an absolute doll and is also incredibly funny. I love him. We've had many fun adventures with over the years)

In the end, it wasn’t any lectures that stopped me from doing what I was doing, it wasn’t rehab & it wasn’t nicotine patches or being ‘born again’. I simply grew up, my lifestyle changed and I decided that the hang-overs just weren’t worth it anymore. Guess I never really was addicted to anything then, but because I seemed so wild, people assumed that I was.

So does rehab really work? Often it doesn’t. Just like nicotine patches and diets often don’t do the job. I believe that you have to make some drastic lifestyle changes & change your own self-image to make the other changes last. Once your self-image has evolved, you’ll notice that certain behaviors no longer fit this new image. As long as I saw myself as a rebellious teenager, I could go out, get trashed, make a fool of myself occasionally and be grumpy whilst I nursed my hang-overs.

These days, I see myself as a responsible & loving mother and wife, and as a professional, healthy and out-going resort owner. So obviously, I live a healthy lifestyle. It’s been many, many years since I’ve been intoxicated in any shape or form & I do not miss it in the slightest.

But what I do not understand though is how women like Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, Whitney Houston, Courtney Love & Kate Moss (amongst others) could see themselves as loving and responsible mothers whilst going out and getting hammered all the time. I just don’t see how that works. How on earth do they deal with their kids the next day? Or do they not see their kids until after lunchtime? And when their toddlers throw temper tantrums, do the mums simply join in? I think that’s what I would do if I had to deal with a tantrum whilst being hung-over. They are hard enough to deal with sober.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that our culture makes many women in the spotlight feel insecure about ‘just being a mum’. It’s like they somehow need to prove to the world (and themselves) that they are still young & ‘with it’. What these young mothers could do with is their own support system. They should start hanging out together and with some other ‘super star mums’ that can actually be a role model for them, those in the limelight that are not scared to be a mother and a woman.

Anyone out there who wants to start this support group for these poor mums? They can get together once a week, with their toddlers (and nannies?) in tow, share their experiences, swap Gucci bags, teach their toddlers how to pouch at the cameras, etc. (sorry, I’m making fun of the whole thing again)

No seriously, these women need help. Maybe Dr. Deepak Chopra should jump in here. He has some wise things to say about addictions and might be able to help these women change their lifestyle in more ways than one.

For the sake of their children, I wish them well & I hope that not more of these women will go the way of Anna Nicole Smith or Paula Yates. And I hope that they can start by forgiving themselves for the mess they got into. They can start anew today.

So good luck ladies! May love be with you.


Mark said...

I was in the spotlight(mini-famous I guess) for 5 years in my locality - doing a website with photos of what the local crowd was up to - all the bands, pubs, parties, people, drugs, outdoor raves, hippy gatherings - everything that happened around here, I would know about and photo. Great fun for the first 3 years but the rest was powered solely by my unhealthy want to be accepted and wanted by people . Drug addiction and an awful feeling of being indestrucible would would force me to go out, do more, just to show people that I could still party like the rest of them. If I had not accidently met a beautiful and persistent lady, I would probably be dead as the drugs were really taking over. The same thing in various different scales happen to so many people, and you don't ever know who your friends are until you stop everything for at least three months - which is almost impossible without the guidance from a special person. I feel so sorry for all these famous people - the only thing they want is a hug from someone who really, really loves them, and trusts them.

Sorry luv, getting emotional in my hot chocolate here!

Thanks for your great stories. x

Simone said...

Hi Mark,

You hit the nail on the head there...most of us continue well beyond the point of it being fun, usually because people have now come to expect it from us.

It used to kill me when people said 'Wow, you want to go home? I thought you were meant to be hardcore'. I would then try and prove that I was, even when really I wanted to curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate (just like yourself)

Anyway, after a while I realized what a load of nonsense it was & stopped trying to impress anybody.

Guess it's all part of growing up ; )