Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tiger in Rehab

Current events and celeb gossip are testing my belief in rehab. The New York Post has photos of Tiger Woods at sex addiction rehab in Mississippi. It’s Patrick Carnes place—Carnes the long time expert and leader in the field of sexual addiction. But reading the article it appears that Tiger has cut a special celebrity deal: his own cottage that was rehabbed at a cost of $100,000 before Tiger moved in; permission to miss group and other recovery activities; not having to do chores like make his bed and share the housekeeping of the place—a standard “humble making” activity at any rehab center.

So is Tiger really in rehab or is he doing the requisite number of days as mea culpa? Is he trying to rehab his golf and public life? Is he, as some say, just trying to appease wife Elin? He wouldn’t be the first addict who went to rehab to get out of a jackpot—but usually the process of breaking down and building back up has some effect despite the motivation.

Here’s what bothers me more than Tiger playing games. If the Post and Vanity Fair stories are true, then Patrick Carnes is playing games with treatment and cutting special deals for one special resident. And isn’t specialness part of the addiction? The whole terminal uniqueness thing?

Tiger is quite special as a golfer and maybe he got confused thinking that made him special as a human being, husband and man. Can’t blame him for trying; all addicts will try to get a deal and a pass. But if the treatment center is enabling and buying into the Tiger Star thing we’re in big trouble in 12-step land.

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