Here's an email I got this morning before the show even ended:
Thought Nine was a little harsh on the man on War of the Roses today with the girlfriend & the bounced check. I agree it sure seemed like he has a problem & it's probably a drug problem. Just wasn't too cool to put that pressure on him. He's the one dealing with it & its important to be understanding & compassionate & Nine seems like he would get that. He seems more educated and caring than that when you guys talk about addiction problems on your show. Caught me off guard & disappointed me some. Just wanted to let you know & see what Nine has to say about it.
I like an email like that! Anytime somebody calls me out but doesn't get all mad about it, I get happy because it's an opportunity to discuss some differences of opinion in a civilized manner instead of yelling like dummies. That's how we make progress in the world, y'all!
P1 Brat-21 was not alone in thinking I was harsh on the guy this morning. Maybe I came off harsher than I wanted to. That'll happen from time to time. Especially with me. I always had that pre-pubescent kinda voice on me. Still kinda do. But the last 15 years or so spent smoking and drinking have eaten away at the throat enough that sometimes my normally feminine tones can carry a little more weight.
But seriously, I sincerely hope I wasn't a dick to that guy on the show today. He seemed like a nice enough guy. We've all known plenty of addicts who were very nice, good people we loved and cared about. That's the problem. Without that firm accountability, people they love start to become victims - like a girlfriend covering a bounced rent check because there wasn't enough money to pay for the month.
I've probably dealt with addiction more than most non-professionals you'll ever run across. Friends and loved ones here and there have always fought some pretty tough problems. I come from a long line of alcoholics. Personally I'm blessed. I've never shown too many addictive tendencies besides to cheeseburgers. I've always been able to pick it up and put it back down, no matter what it was. A big part of that is being so terrified of the gripping control addiction has held over people close to me.
I can't claim to be an expert. I don't want to be an expert, for the record. Not on addictions and dealing with them as a third party. I'd rather go to my own funeral than have to see someone through an addiction again. It's the least fun thing I've ever done.
Everything I said to the guy this morning was meant to hold him a little accountable. Not to me, or the show, or the P1's necessarily but at least to the live-in girlfriend who's paying all the bills because he's short on money. That's a telling sign how far an addiction has gone - no matter what the addiction may be. Once you start taking advantage of those close to you, putting them in compromising positions, taking from them what you otherwise wouldn't - you're becoming a parasitic addict and you must find help for it. Everybody knows the first step to recovery is admitting to yourself you have a problem. Shortly thereafter is accountability.
In short, my goal was to help him help her help him. Sorry if it didn't come off that way.
This here's a bit of a Rise Guys secret. It's a thing you hear over the years from people who come clean on War of the Roses or Truth & Consequences or just the other people on the show. I firmly believe it to be the truth.
There's a soul-cleansing, weigh-lifting-off-your-shoulders, utterly freeing, liberating sense of relief when you can bare your soul to everybody all at once like that. Your friends might hear. Your co-workers might hear. It might lead to trouble. But getting something heavy off your shoulders and out in the air is good for you. It's one of those really hard things to do. You can walk up to it, but taking the plunge takes a fair amount of testicular fortitude. Once you take the plunge, you come to realize it's hard for the same reason anything else is hard - it's good for you and it's worth the effort.