Watching BIOGRAPHY channel’s “MAD MEL: THE RISE AND FALL OF A HOLLYWOOD ICON”, a piece about MEL GIBSON.
Almost without exception, every journalist, interviewer, celebrity, and expert they have interviewed has expressed some kind of shock and horror about the vile language and behavior Mel demonstrated in his most recent alleged episodes – those infamous recorded telephone calls with his former lover.
I am simply shocked by their shock.
Have they never really known an alcoholic or someone severely substance-addicted?
THAT is how they talk. That is how they act.
It does not mean it is how the person truly feels or who they really are. It is the poison in their system.
For some reason, all those who refuse to give Mel Gibson another chance; those who believe he will never redeem himself, appear to believe those ugly things he (allegedly) said and did while under the influence, are accurate reflections of his being.
The Latin phrase “In vino veritas,” in wine [there is the] truth,” is likely the basis for the misconception. To an extent, the proverb is true. A little bit of wine loosens the tongue just enough to release some inhibitions. However, I predicate this on a normal (non-addicted person) enjoying a glass or two of wine.
The person who spews the kind of vile, “F-word” filled epithets, and becomes mercilessly violent, has not just had an infrequent glass of White Zinfandel.
When an otherwise kind, good person (who is also an addict) reaches the point of using that level of language and that kind of violence, they are saturated with the poison of their choice – whether it is alcohol, pills, or some other substance. But, by the time the ugliness reaches that level, it is not a reflection of the person. It is, rather, the by-product of the toxin.
In much the same way that the body perspires profusely to rid itself of the toxic substance, I believe the soul and spirit also attempt to purge the poison, and the horrific words and actions of the addict while under the influence, are the result of the spirit’s attempt to purge.
It is not at all unlike the character Regan in the “THE EXORCIST.” She was possessed. It was not that sweet child uttering those vile, hateful words and actions. It was Satan, and for the most part, substance abuse is like that. An addict that deeply under the influence is literally possessed by the poison. They will say and do things they would never, ever do or even think about doing under any other circumstances.
The “exorcism” required is a complete purging of the poison.
I am not defending Mel Gibson for any of the things he has done or said. I just wanted to express my own surprise that so many otherwise educated and enlightened individuals would actually believe that such intoxicated tirades are, in any way, at the heart of the person an addict may truly be.
Some of the kindest, most beautiful souls fall victim to alcoholism and/or other substance addiction. Sometimes, the very reason for the allure of alcohol is because it seems to free their timid spirits.
Again, that is not an excuse.
I am only saying there is no reason for anyone to be the ultimate judge as to whether someone will ever “work in this town again,” or will ever redeem himself.
The alcoholic/addict who recognizes his/her problem is even more hurt by what he has said and done than his most vulnerable victims. And those who recognize and acknowledge their problem will make every effort to avoid their poison of choice, and resume or attain the quiet, peaceful life of love they truly desire.
The most recent example of this is Major League Baseball TEXAS RANGERS’ Josh Hamilton. It was so touching when his teammates chose to celebrate their recent victories with ginger ale (instead of alcohol) in Hamilton’s presence.
In a perfect world, the friends and loved ones of alcoholics would be that considerate – knowing that it might be even the smell of the substance that could trigger a relapse. Not all addicts are that sensitive to the substance. But, the insidious thing about it is you just never know – until you know.
At any rate, it is not for us to judge any more than it is for us to enable, and the biggest enabler of all is our culture. That is a whole ‘nother blog.