Charlie Sheen is right about AA

family addiction

One TV tabloid said, “Charlie Sheen is the tabloid gift that keeps on giving;” and they are right. You cannot turn on the television, search the web or listen to the radio without hearing another rant from Mr. Sheen about his ongoing drama and the millions of people (most of whom he’s never met) who are judging him. Everyone feels the need to weigh in on his fall from grace and how sad they are to see him seemingly self destruct before their eyes.

None of us can imagine how difficult it must be for stars like Sheen, Lohan, Spears and Hilton to live in a fishbowl. Your every move, judged. Your personal struggles chum for tabloid sharks and within your tight knit circle of friends and family, no one is safe from prying eyes. Now imagine adding a billion strong worldwide cult with all of the power of pop-culture, government and media behind them, publicly judging you and scrutinizing your every move. Who among us could stand up to that kind of scrutiny? The answer is no one; not even the self-important AA gurus and Big Book Thumpers who publicly chastise Sheen under the guise of “helping him.”

Do Mr. Sheen’s latest ramblings on The Alex Jones radio show sound a bit crazed and angry? They do; but when you truly listen to what he is saying, there is much truth to it all. Keep in mind that Sheen has spent the better part of his adult life in and out of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. This experience alone certainly qualifies him to have an opinion. Common sense would tell any rational thinking person that perhaps the 12 step program hasn’t worked for him, and maybe it is a good idea for him to look for a different solution. But such is not the case with each and every addiction professional who feels the need to weigh in on this situation. What is happening to Sheen is a perfect example of the cult mentality of which he speaks. While AA asserts that alcoholics are powerless and suffering from a progressive, incurable disease, they also simultaneously blame those who are not successful with AA for their failures. In essence they blame those suffering from this self proclaimed disease for acting powerless and diseased? Which is it folks, a disease or a choice?

As logical as it would seem for his family, friends and business associates to support Sheen’s efforts to seek out an alternative solution, they are not. His father, Martin Sheen, has compared his son’s problems with cancer, a comparison that is entirely offensive and disturbing to anyone who has watched someone ravaged by cancer. But this comparison lends credibility to Sheen’s assertion that his family has been brainwashed by AA. While Sheen’s father makes the comparison he does not take it to its logical conclusion asking the question, if it is a disease like cancer why is the most popular solution faith-based, nearly a century old and effective less than 5% of the time? If you found out you had cancer tomorrow, I would be shocked if you accepted a solution that said, just don’t have cancer and go to meetings.

Most parents can understand the elder Mr. Sheen’s concerns with his son’s behaviors, but most parents also understand especially as their adult child approaches the half century mark, that they cannot control their children and give up trying. We all want our children to grow up to be happy and successful, but who says Sheen isn’t? And honestly who has the right to judge someone else’s lifestyle anyway?

Look, if Sheen is breaking the law, arrest him. If he is not doing his job, then fire him. If you are his friend or relative and you don’t like the way he is living, then use your own free will and don’t be around him. But if he’s not living in a way that you think he should live, that’s just too bad; it’s none of your damn business.