In a new documentary, Eminem reveals startling details about the painkiller addiction he struggled with, admitting he was close to death at one point. I think it’s important when celebrities take ownership of their struggles and share them– look at how much impact Demi Lovato has had, by just opening up and sharing with her fans. I really respect that, even though I know they’re not obligated to share every last detail of their lives with us, but if something can be learned or gained by them doing so then why not? I’m sure there have been a lot of young people who have admired Eminem, especially his fans through the years. I applaud him for not only admitting his addiction, but for getting incredibly real about it:
“People tried to tell me that I had a problem,” the rapper said in How to Make Money Selling Drugs - a film described as “an indictment on the war on drugs” by the Los Angeles Times. “I would say ‘Get that f***king person outta here. I’m not out there shooting heroin. I’m not f***king out there putting coke up my nose. I’m not smoking crack. My organs were shutting down. My liver, kidneys, everything,” he said of the time when he was hospitalized after a night of excessive pill-popping. “They were gonna have to put me on dialysis. They didn’t think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death.”
What stands out to me about this admission is how he (and probably lots of other people out there) convinced himself that it wasn’t a “real” addiction because he wasn’t “smoking crack or snorting coke” — he was just taking pills. Prescription drugs are just as dangerous–if not more so, by being legal–as any other drug out there and can kill you just as quickly. I’ve been in the presence of that kind of addiction myself, unfortunately. I’ve seen how easy it is to be in denial about.
Luckily, Eminem was able to admit his problem and eventually seek help for it even after relapses. He might be a tough guy, but he’s human too. And he’s no dummy, either. Which is why these words are so powerful, I think:
“I just couldn’t believe that anybody could be naturally happy or naturally function or be just enjoying life in general without being on something,” he said, adding that his sense of responsibility to his children helped him kick the habit. “So I would say to anybody, ‘It does get better.’”
Indeed it does. Kudos to Eminem for sharing.