Who appeared before us apologizing last Friday? Was it Tiger Woods the individual or Tiger Woods the corporation?
I hope for his sake, his family's and all who care about him, we witnessed Tiger the man, accepting responsibility for his actions and surrendering to his truth that there are not enough women in the world to fill his need for validation.
Tiger spoke all the right words in taking responsibility, yet displayed no emotion. The only glimpse he gave us of his feelings was when he expressed his anger with the media. That is a troubling indication that he's still playing the blame game and being a victim.
For Tiger to continue with the long process of recovery he must realize he has to stay on message without confusing the issues. His hand was caught in the cookie jar and he was forced to face up to the consequences and endure public humiliation. That's yesterday's news. What Tiger does from here on out will depend on his willingness to continue to ask for help.
Extra-marital sex with 14-16 different women is not normal! Tiger's moments of temptation are not going to be about willpower--anymore than they are for the alcoholic or drug addict. He's going to have to say "no" to his fantasies whenever the urge to act out starts to overwhelm him. He will need to pick up the phone and ask for help from his support system.
Tiger and Elin's emotional health have taken a beating that will require years of talk therapy. He'll need to connect in a healthy way with his wife and others who share his disease to quiet his beast of need. If he lets his shame and anger drive him, he'll continue on a course of self-destruction where he will lose his wife, his lifestyle and, ultimately, the last remnants of his moral character.
The lesson Tiger should learn from all this is the same for any addict, that external accomplishments can never fully satisfy the beast inside who always begs for more, more, more.
Replacing self obsession with service to others can restore his life and earn him lasting respect. Tiger Woods didn't choose to be the poster boy for cheating spouses, but now that he's there, his destiny might provide him with an invaluable opportunity to effect change where a lot of good can be achieved.
Sex addiction treatment centers are available because there is a need. Just as former First Lady Betty Ford's recovery thirty years ago fulfilled the demand to help people with alcoholism and addiction--Tiger has an equal opportunity.
For him to use his influence as the most successful golfer of all time and the highest paid professional athlete for casting the spotlight on how the public and the medical profession view and treat sexual addiction. This would be his greatest achievement.
As a pioneer on this path, he could redeem himself as a super hero by saving addicts' lives and their families.
Follow Dr. Howard Samuels on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheHillsCenter