In a way, I can identify with Charlie Sheen. When I was a kid, I threw a tantrum. I told my parents that I hated them and stormed into my room and packed an overnight bag. Then, I announced that I was running away and walked out the front door. A few minutes later, I came back because I needed someone to walk me across the street. I was seven. Charlie Sheen is forty-five. I grew up. Charlie apparently didn't.
I was captivated, along with much of the country, and initially, even amused, by Charlie Sheen's initial rants. But something happened when the vitriol intensified, along with his apparent split from reality. Then, it became almost painful to witness. Its one thing to notice a car accident, and quite another to stop and stare at the badly injured driver as he struggles to survive.
Dr. Drew Pinsky says that Charlie may be in a hyper manic state, with delusions of grandeur and invincibility. Dr. Drew believes that this condition is the result of Sheen's own admitted abuse of drugs. Even though he has tested clean for drugs, the doctor concludes the actor is suffering from their effects and is at risk of using again when he inevitably crashes.
Until he was fired, Charlie was the highest paid actor on television with a hit series -- a dream job to be sure. He was beloved by millions of fans (and he's currently followed by two million on Twitter). But instead of being grateful for his success, Charlie boasted about it, because, after all, it was all about him. Nothing and no one else mattered -- not the producers, the writers, nor his co-stars. Charlie is an island. Everyone seems to realize how lucky Charlie was, except for Charlie. He lashed out at the show's creator and executive producer, the studio and the network, much like I did long ago against my own parents. But Charlie has kids of his own, who need their dad to be an adult and a parent.
In an interview in the latest issue of Life & Style, the actor briefly drops his bravado and admits that his life has taken a turn for the worse. "I'm really starting to lose my mind," says Sheen. "I'm ready to call anyone to help." If he attempts to recover, as so many pray he will over the coming months, I am hopeful that Charlie Sheen will take the time to reflect on what he's said and what he's done. Redemption is never too late. Perhaps he can learn the true value of gratitude, apology and humility. Maybe then, he might receive something in return -- forgiveness.
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