Dear Lea Michele: It Is Going To Be Okay

Dear Lea Michele: It Is Going To Be Okay

Care and compassion are more powerful forces for change than punishment and lectures.

We wrote an article recently about the sad and early death of Cory Monteith, on which someone commented "Do you have you any advice for Lea Michele?"  If advice would be useful, I suspect that this is not the time for it — except perhaps to try to help her to make greater sense of this painful time which may, in due course, help her face a future without Cory. Right now, she should focus her attention on letting herself feel the loss.

As someone who has lived with alcohol addiction for many years, and endured a death that was likely alcohol-related, my heart goes out to Lea with an agonizing wail of compassion and frustration. We feel great sadness for her not just because of Cory's death, but also for the time she spent with Cory while he struggled with his demons.  It is possible that, if the last position she took about his excesses was acceptance she may be agonising whether she should have mounted a greater challenge.  Alternately, if the last thing she did was an ultimatum, she may be haunted by the question "Should I have been more loving and accepting of Cory as he was?"

The likelihood is that, like many of us in similar positions, she tried everything she could to bring some sort of order to the chaos of addiction. She has most likely jumped between those mind-numbing polar positions of acceptance and ultimatum, a typical component of living in addiction-tinged relationships.

Because we love our addicted friends, partners or family members, we get regular glimpses of their amazing real selves, as well as the vulnerability and anguish of their struggles. This makes us want to stay by their sides forever. And because we love them, when they lie and deceive, worry us to bits, turn on us in their drunkenness, let us and themselves down as their drug of choice takes them away into the twisted world of their own, through hurt and anger we rise up and declare that we cannot take this life a second longer.

As a singer myself, I watched Glee with my daughter from time to time, attracted by the brilliance of the musical performances. Therefore, I was deeply frustrated by Monteith's early death. How many times do we have to watch exceptional talents like his and Amy Winehouse's die far too early?

In our work with both alcoholics ( and their partners (, we are developing more and more of a passion for changing this culture of excess.  We would like to reclaim the word prehab, and make it to mean the input friends and loved ones could provide as an early intervention. That would mean less and less need for rehab. Instead of constantly putting out all the fires that occur, can't we learn to soak society with new attitudes and educated ways of intervention?  Keep reading...

More personal development coach advice from YourTango

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!