The Funny, But Tragic Charlie Sheen

“I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind,” said Sheen about getting clean.” He also said, “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

These are just a few examples of Sheen’s mastery of words in the last few days in a flurry of interviews he gave for no particular reason, except to let the world see how crazy he sounds. “Winning!” is now a catchphrase that makes everyone laugh. I admit it. I laugh at the jokes too. I even made a joke the first day saying that I was upset because I thought I was “the bitchen rock star from mars.” It’s difficult not to make fun of the narcissism that is Hollywood. But then as the days went by and Charlie continued on his rampage of rants, even giving TMZ a live stream at his home as he introduced his two “goddesses” (porn stars) that seem to be living with him, I started to see this as not so funny. Then he let the cameras roll as the police came to his house at 4am with his ex-wife who had a court order to take the kids, his two year old twins. Charlie also has various kids from other wives. It was then that I realized I couldn’t laugh at him anymore.

As someone who has gone through the pain of watching a loved one lost in addiction, I started thinking of his family. All his famous father, Martin Sheen, has said recently is that he asks everyone to lift Charlie up in prayer. Martin Sheen himself fought addiction and has been AA for years. An organization that Charlie holds little respect for, saying it is a “bootleg cult.”

People who have loved ones with manic depressive disorder are also saying that this looks like what Charlie is going through. They are saying that right now he is in a manic stage. I can’t speak to that personally of course, and they are just speculating, but given that he has tested clean supposedly and is still acting in such an erratic manner, it would explain that. Which, if true, makes it all the more tragic. On the other hand it could be simply the ego and narcissism that comes with growing up with a famous father, then becoming famous and rich yourself at such a young age.

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But what I can relate to is Charlie’s father and his family. Those lost in addiction don’t see how their actions affect those that love them. They don’t see the pain. They don’t see the worry. I started thinking about how Charlie’s father and family were feeling while Charlie went on this circus media tour. Because I know exactly what they are doing. They are going to bed every night, not sleeping. They lay there worrying. They lay there wondering if they will get a that phone call the next day saying that loved one died of alcohol poison or drug overdose. They worry if they will get a call saying their loved one has wrapped his car around a tree, or even worse, killed someone else while driving.

This all swirls through your head every day. Then there is the pain of watching the decline. There is the pain of seeing how it affects the loved one’s children. You know how they are suffering, but you can do nothing about it. You feel helpless, sad, and frustrated. The loss of a job is a common aspect of the addicted. Sometimes it can wake them up, but when someone has millions and millions of dollars already in the bank, that may not be the wake up call it should be.

You might remember in 2008 when Martin thought Charlie was sober for a while. So you have that too, the joy of thinking that they have overcome this monster in their life, only to see it creep back in like vampire in the night. A vampire is an apt description too, because addiction sucks the life out of someone. Sometimes quickly, and sometimes slowly. A functional addict can go on for decades, slowly watching or ignoring things disintegrate around them. They also become someone very different from the one you have known and loved. And it’s never a good difference.

Martin Sheen said that addiction was like a cancer. Families watch helplessly while it eats away at their loved one. It’s like they have a cancer that can be easily treated and cured with treatment, but they refuse to accept the treatment. It’s so frustrating to those that love them, that they can hardly stand it.

Who knows if Charlie has manic drepressive disorder, or if he has some other mental disorder. But if he does, then this is doubly tragic. But today I think about his family and his children. I know what they are suffering though. So if you have a mind to lift Charlie up in prayer today, you might think about lifting them up as well.

Follow me on twitter! @KatMcKinley I’m also at The Houston Chronicle and my own site,

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