Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The hollowness of being?

While the coffee burbled in the pot, I heard the news that Lindsay Lohan was arrested again for DUI and possession of cocaine.

I think it's easy to immediately dismiss it as the antics of yet another party girl with no sense.

But that would be the easy way.

There's something seriously wrong with someone so young whose life is so completely out of control. There's something seriously wrong with someone so young being so hollow inside that she needs to constantly anesthetize herself against the world.

I was also young when I had a substance abuse problem and know that it was one way to cope with the vastness, the hugeness, of the future. It was a way to feel in control ~ even if it was only for the few hours while the alcohol was in my system.

In her case, having gone through rehab twice, there is something in the message, the typical psychological pablum, that is clearly not working for her. She needs something more.

What might it be?

I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts about this. I'm pounding this post out rather quickly, just running the thoughts through my own head at this point.

One thing I know is that it just makes me incredibly sad. Not for her as an individual ~ but for all those young people who feel overwhelmed by the world as it is these days. What can we do, as people who are a bit more mature, to help them?



Mary-LUE said...

It is very sad, Chani. When I saw the first part of this post through my Google reader, I thought maybe you had republished an old post for some reason. It is hard to believe this has happened so quickly after her release.

I think there are multiple questions that can be asked here. How do you help someone who is feeling out of control, fearful, whatever BEFORE they become addicted to drugs/alcohol and how does someone who is already addicted deal with all that AND the addiction?

While I've never had a substance abuse problem, I've been around others who do/have. I've learned it is very complicated.

It is a hard, hard thing.

Snoskred said...

It might be that she's just not ready to stop yet.

I remember when I was a smoker and people kept telling me I should quit, and I just plain did. not. want. to. It wasn't until I truly reached rock bottom - pneumonia in the middle of the summer - that I seriously thought for a moment that I should quit. But once I got over it, I still tried to keep smoking - my body would not let me do it. I can't explain how that really happened in a way that makes sense other than to say to have a cigarette made me feel so incredibly ill that I could not keep smoking.

Most of us have every day addictions to things less damaging. Chocolate can be one, mine now is probably coffee but I've cut back on that since the great water change.

I don't think she was taking rehab seriously, that was fairly evident from the photos of her constantly sneaking out of there.

It might also be something to do with being so talented. Many of the real talents (I have no idea if she is one by the way, never seen anything with her in it, she's more of a US phenomenon) can't handle being so talented. Many of them crash and burn at an early age - many of them leave this planet long before they should.

Here's hoping she gets ready and stops before she either kills herself - or drives into another car and kills people. As drunk as I ever got, I was never stupid or careless enough to grab the keys. ;( I guess that message don't drink and drive with the really gory accident ads we had over here worked for me. And the movie less than zero. Parents, show that one to your kids when they're old enough, it worked for me.

I'm sorry but there is absolutely no excuse for DUI. Never. If you know you're going to drink, you don't drive - and if you're rich like Lindsay and Paris etc you can afford a taxi much better than all those party kids who still somehow manage to share cabs home together. What will it take to get that message through? She's already had one accident that I know of, right?

meno said...

I have no idea what to do to help this young woman. I think she needed help years ago. So sad.

liv said...

I echo meno, and really, have you noticed how flat out mean we are as a society to people who make mistakes? We've gotten to a point where we love the newsmaking of the low so much that the high is irrelevant. It sucks.

Cecilieaux said...

First of all, Lindsay Lohan is a talented actress; Paris Hilton is a rich, talentless spoiled brat. Let's not mix up the two.

Secondly, I've always thought that drug abuse, so prevalent in wealthier societies, is a symptom rather than a disease. Is it too much wealth that makes these societies unhealthy?

Thirdly, I found Chani's phrase "she needs to constantly anesthetize herself against the world" perfectly descriptive of what is likely happening. At least, without having been an alcoholic or drug abuser, I now realize that I drink less because I am less unhappy and do not need anesthesia (some would say I have a different anesthesia, but that's a whole different argument).

Fourthly, I don't know LL from Adam, but I bet growing up as a child actress must be part of the problem. Such childhoods tend to be very stressful. There are the cases of Drew Barrymore and McKenzie Phillips, that also involved child acting and drugs, alcohol, etc.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It is terribly sad that a young person with everything to live for (it seems,) feels the need to destroy herself and anyone else who happens to get in the way.

Maybe it has something to do with the pressures of stardom, the expectation of being perfect all the time.

If we as a society didn't fawn and drool over such children, maybe they would feel safer actually BEING children without having to live up to their own stage personae.

Still, the problem seems widespread among kids who are not in the public eye as well, so we must be failing them, too.

When parents dress little girls like street ho's, we are giving them the message that they are supposed to be sexually precocious. Drinking and drugging are part of the wild party life that they engage in to try to measure up, to prove how provocative they are.

If kids were still allowed to be kids, and had balanced, mature adults watching out for them instead of parents who want to relive their own youths through them, I think a lot of these problems would not persist, and all the Lindseys might not self-destruct before our eyes.

Snoskred said...

Cecilieaux - Paris also had a DUI - what I meant when I said that was not that they were alike in any other way, just that they both were driving drunk.

I think the paparazzi certainly ought to take their share of the blame for this, apparently they were chasing her - they stalk these girls 24/7 and the pressure of that has got to be terrible. :( I thought when Diana was killed that it was pretty much over for those guys, yet they're still making millions.

Julie Pippert said...

I think there is a lot of shared blame here. If we must cast blame.

The parents---umm that is some level of messed up.

The culture---I am a big fan of Other Places. Love to travel. Everywhere I go I think, wowsa, it's sure cool here. Except LA.

The fans and papparazzi---talk about soul suckers sometimes.

The so-called friends---parties and bars with addicted friend? Enough said.

The people who profit from her---Enough said.

The bottom line is that she brings too much to too many people so they just want to keep her happy rather than take the hard line. So they can get what they want.

It's tragic, but at this point she's an adult and she has to choose.

So far, she hasn't chosen sobriety.

I feel so very sad for the bright little thing who I thought was too cute in the remake of Parent Trap.

Bottom line?

Yeah it's a symptom.

The real problem is what needs fixing.

Anonymous said...

She seems to have it all: youth, beauty, health, wealth, fame, success. I guess those things aren't all they're cracked up to be- I'm sure she'd trade it all away for a little peace of mind.

Laurie said...

While I'm sad for her, I'm even sadder for the people who have none of her resources and yet have the same problems. There's no cushy rehab center for them, only the bleak reality of the street.

Anvilcloud said...

The illusion is that she has it all when it seems she has very little. In her case money and fame are probably an impediment to a fulfilled life. Maybe they always are, but some rise above.

Anonymous said...

I think it comes down to what Snos said: she's not ready. She needs to get away for a longer period of time, somewhere where she'll be kept safe.

I'm starting to realize that most people need a lot more nurturing (of a certain kind - which is another topic) than they get, and especially precocious individuals. Mix that with a talent that others can exploit, and we've seen what happens time and again.

flutter said...

Her mother, who is the quintessential stage mom, set her up to be a drug addict. This isn't a societal issue, unfortunately. With her, she was betrayed by her family very young and tried to find solace in the arms of a substance and in cash. Heartbreaking.

jen said...

I like what Julie said quite a bit. We all try and numb the pain one way or another.

If I was 21 and my every move was caught on video there would have been many, many things making the news because I was a gigantic dumbass and i didn't even have a bunch of cash to blow.

I think all we can do as "elders" is try to slow them down and encourage them to turn inward and discover themselves. Easier said than done. For me, i mean, let alone them.

crazymumma said...

ack. poor thing, not again?

I wish I knew what the answer might be.

Tabba said...

while yes, it is sad. it has also occurred to me that the assistants and the entourages who consistenly pump things their way have a bit of culpability in this as well. i'm not trying to take away what may be an underlying cause. but something must be said for the distributors who are so close to home, who are more than willing to keep it all flowing.

it may just be my ignorance. but that's where i stand on it. these child stars never have a chance to reconcile certain issues, experience certain things, etc. and when you never get a chance to do that, there are major consequences and prices to be paid. and then you have people around you who are more than willing to fill your glass, your syringe, or your nose - and well, it's a recipe for disaster.

Christine said...

and i wish i had an answer, but as so many people pointed out it just seems so complicated. and sad. so sad. i need answers before my kids get older.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh I hadn't heard about that. How sad. Before I witness my friend fall off/or jump off the wagon a few times I probably would have reacted judgmentally. But now that I've witnessed what addiction does do a person I feel very sad for her. To me it looked like someone trapped in a dark place and couldn't get out. I wouldn't even know the first thing to do for anyone with problems like that. All I could do for my friend was comfort her until she decided to check herself into rehab.

slouching mom said...

So hard to answer. I guess I'd have to go with the parents, though I don't think it's the parents in every case.

She was a pawn very early on.

QT said...

Having friends with addiction issues, Chani, I have seen that it takes more than one try. And like snos said, I don't think she is really ready. I think she loves the lifestyle. I just wish she would call her driver so there wouldn't be a DUI issue.

I also have to second what jen said - thank god my "lost years" took place before the internet, camera phones, etc. WHOA that would have been bad...

mitzh said...

I agree with what Flutter said. She is so lost, Lindsay and Britney really needs help, yet its as if they don't know where to begin..

Hel said...

I don't know about others but what I needed was being able to know that everything is going to be ok.

That and a clear vision of a future that made me feel like my life had meaning.

And to allow myself to feel special and loved.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a stronger sense of support and stability from her family would be good. Young and alone is a terrible feeling to have. Add lots of disposable cash and you are asking for poor decisions.

Mary said...

I tend to think she wasn't grounded before she became a celebrity. Now she has no coping mechanism whatsoever. Sad.

What a poor example Paris and LL are displaying for young girls around the world.

They can admit themselves to treatment centers but they only have themselves to rely on to get better. No one can really help them.