LOS ANGELES — Since getting sober more than two decades ago, Tom Arnold, the actor and comedian, has been a quiet force in Hollywood’s recovery community, helping stage a number of interventions for drug-addicted executives and alcoholic stars.
But even a seen-it-all show business survivor like Mr. Arnold was stunned by what happened when he tried to pull his friend and former neighbor, Charlie Sheen, back from the brink.
“I went to a person close to him and said, ‘This guy is in serious trouble with serious drugs. We’ve got to help him,’ ” Mr. Arnold recalled in an interview. “And this person flat-out told me to my face, ‘We make a lot of money from him. I can’t be part of it.’ That tells you everything you need to know.”
Enablers are always necessary when it comes to tolerating “bad behavior”. In Charlie Sheen’s case some of his behaviors increased the viewership on his money making TV show so it is not hard to imagine his employers enabling his behavior now is it?
Some of us are enablers of our own children, our spouses or even our friends. We are actually failing them…by the very things that we do to show them love and understanding.
To me when money is involved and “big” money as in the case of Charlie Sheen enabling becomes a much larger problem and can become an ethical and moral issue.
You do not have to be a mental health professional or a recovered “addict” to recognize when a person, displaying behaviors like Charlie Sheen’s, is in trouble.
The problem is what do you do about it when you see disintegration happening and the person in question does not really want help. In truth, there is not much you can do except watch the happenings and be there when the person implodes. Eventually he or she will.
Over the years we have witnessed the loss of many talented actors and actresses. Yes they seem to have a “charmed” life…lots of money and whatever it buys but on the inside they are not “charmed”. How about Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, John Belushi …what talent they had and how sadly they died.
Because these folks have lots of money help is available around any corner…why doesn’t Charlie seek out someone who is professionally ethical and accept that he could use a partner like this to help him get back on track with himself, his family, his career?
It is very sad to watch the disintegration of someone right in front of the cameras. It seems so preventable. When celebrities are physically ill our hearts go out to them. but emotional illness for some reason does not generate the same empathy.
If only Charlie wanted some help and would let that happen. But “NOOOOO! ” as John Belushi used to say.
Do we really have to lose another talent to drugs and alcohol and self destruction? I hope not.