Taking a great leap of faith, leaving the Boston area after 35 grueling years of ill health, lack of success in my chosen profession and the break up of a 20+ year marriage, I drove myself across the United States. I took this trip on “a wing and a prayer” knowing that one of my previous clients had many friends with “contacts” out here to help my going be easier than if I just came on my own. I won’t say that her friends have been totally useless, but what I will say, is that they have been very reticent to help me out, even with her glowing words of introduction, with one notable exception.
I have found that the people who live in Hollywood have their defenses up very high in response to their so-called “friends” repeatedly screwing them one way or another. I would say that many of the people that I have met here, know, or should I say, are acquainted with “celebrities.” Some of these famed people are in movies, some are in television, many rock and rollers from bands that I have never heard of and never would, thinking of what they call “music” no more than noise for the most part.
I have found that there is a good reason for this attitude, sadly. Many of the people out in Hollywood are taking part in the “fast life” partying their sorrows away. It’s hard to be present for another as a friend, when you are drowning yourself in vodka and Red Bull, and maybe a line of coke or so, whiling away into the early morning hours. For this is the way people out here live, calling it “awesome,” while I think of the damage they are doing to their bodies wondering how long till there is yet, another causality of living in the fast lane of life.
All the while as these “friends” hang out getting ever more inebriated, the conversations get louder as one takes offense to some statement made by another, the impulse control gone. Busted in doors are a way of life here as anger comes to the fore unable to be controlled with all the drugs circulating in the body.
It’s an interesting and sad culture, those in Hollywood partake in, wasting their bodies away as they pursue whatever they came here to do. I wouldn’t call these relationships “friendships” because friends do not abuse friends and support them in self-destructive behavior.
Being the outcast here, not being a drinker and certainly not into doing drugs, I am seen as an interloper, because no one here wants to receive help, or so say the loud mouths who yell this at me. And, so I let it all go….one can’t help those who are unwilling to be helped.
But, what about this larger idea of “friends”? My client said that her friends would be able to help out. That was until the proverbial shit hit the fan, the help minimal. Most of her friends are “too busy” in their own dramas to be bothered helping someone they don’t know and can’t trust, even for a very good friend of theirs, who made it clear that I was here to do something of great value for the world at large. They can’t hear it because they can’t get outside their own heads long enough to contemplate anything but their own internal pains and problems. Each of these people could be a client of mine, had they any money left to invest in treatment, but they don’t value themselves or their bodies enough to think about it. The one helpful friend of my contact is in Narcotics Anonymous and has been for over 30 years, as a result of his older brother dying of a drug overdose at the age of 25 when he was 17 years old.
I told him of the “addicts house” I am currently living in and how things work there, something he understands and feels bad about. He told me that he is so glad that he no longer is associated with people who live like pigs unable to understand what they are doing to themselves – they just can’t see it.
This is so foreign to me because my friends are there whenever they are called to the best of their abilities. They refuse to make excuses, simply because their friends have always been their to help them out. Friendship denotes caring about another, to be present and help out even if it stretches you a bit to do so, realizing that when the time comes, and it always does sooner than one would like to admit, the one helped will be there for them without question. This is what true friendship is without the need to pretend to care, without the need to be too busy or overwhelmed to be present. You are just there because you know it matters to both of you.
So, I told my ex-client about the horrific behavior of these contacts of hers and now she is feeling rather embarrassed for their behavior. She was so wanting to move here to L.A. And, now she texts me she has no idea what happened in the eight months since she was last here because in her words “things have changed.”
I don’t believe things have “changed’ so much as I am a different person from her and am not interested in having romantic relationships with “bad boys” or “pretty boys” to be taken care of. Unlike her, I am not infatuated with “stars” or “celebrities” and am unable to say if I even respect them as people till I get to know them. John Gray was amazing – he’s a man who has accomplished much and helped millions of people with his books and trainings. Celebrities who get paid massive amounts of money to entertain – well, it will take more than that for me to give a damn, especially realizing that most of them have a real lack of self-esteem, relying on their fans outpouring of affection to feel any sense of relevance at all. Just read some biographies of these people and you will see what I mean.
Certainly when one who feels good about themselves and what they are doing in this world, one needn’t abuse drugs, fall into deep depressions that lead to suicide attempts and suicides. One would think with all the money they have they could find competent help to get them over the temporary desperate feelings they feel so encumbered by, and yet, few do. It is impossible to love and care for another if there is no love and care for yourself. This is what permeates the feelings of being alone as I read in a biography written about John Lennon. John Lennon was quoted as resenting the crazy young female teens who screamed over their music. Yet, with a lack of a sense of self, once off the stage and no longer receiving all the accolades, felt all alone and unloved. He was a very angry man based on what I read and a very bad person to have to work with in close quarters as traveling musicians do. He had no respect for Paul McCartney whatsoever and without Paul, John Lennon would not have become the star he did – that is my opinion after reading a couple of books on the man.
So, are you being a friend, being present for your friends even when you have to tell them the hard stuff, the stuff they don’t want to hear, but need to because you are genuinely concerned for their wellbeing? Or, are you a co-conspirator in your friend’s dysfunction and self-destruction because you would prefer to get high and drunk even as you see your friend is slowly falling apart, and about to lose everything?
Are you a friend who is willing to help a person because you know that it is necessary for that person at that time, in the ways that you can? Or, do you make excuses because, well, it’s not your problem, so who cares anyway? That is, until you find yourself in a situation where some help would indeed be more than useful and then, well, sorry, no one is there to care about you…
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