27 January 2009

That programme

Well, I saw the programme last night and, to be honest, I was not that much wiser. A half-hour programme shortened even further by advert breaks in-between did not do the subject of alcoholism justice. We did not really learn how he slipped into drinking and how he ended up on a bench on Brighton seafront. There was no input from the ex-wife as to how their relationship broke down (though I can imagine only too well). We did not really learn much about his suffering or the suffering of his family on a daily basis. There was plenty coverage of more recent visits to see old drinking mates wearing woolly hats.

I could see many similarities with Greg's situation: an educated man with a similar sort of high-flying career in the media; the way the problem escalated; the despair and desperation; the inability to fight the problem at its peak; the squalor; his children becoming aloof to avoid disappointment; the debts; the sadness of his mother. But I could also see differences: his physical fitness (Greg is a medical wreck at the moment); his capability to do without drink for over a year (Greg has only ever managed 6 months at the most); and the recognition that he would never ever be able to have another alcoholic drink again (Greg still sees the occasional drink as no problem- as last week proved).

Obviously although Ed Mitchell is now sober, he has not climbed back up to the dizzy heights he once enjoyed before his alcoholism and at the end it became clearer why there was a programme at all - he is writing an autobiography!! Shame on you ITV.

13 comments:

aims said...

Everyone's story is different isn't it?

I learned how people ended on the streets when I was in the psyche ward.

I was lucky there were people loving me and wanting me home. Otherwise there could have been a bench or a grate with my name on it.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Larry and I watched it together. I didnt make nay comment throughout it...

But I thought there is such an ego there...and maybe thats what I could see the front still..I thought 'disingenuous' but who am I to judge..just a gut feeling...

I was surprised there was no mention in HOW he gets through each day... no meeting at AA or anything that would be of benefit to others...it seemed a bit staged..or is that 'reality', not sure..

And Free admission to the Priory .. do you know how much it is there?? its so expensive...so perhaps itv paid ...

I was left with feeling good for the kids....but time will tell...
I also thought that intervention, is the way many people turn the corner, but if it is an intervention, by others, then the I guess the end is justified by the means...but a recovery initiated by the alcoholic makes for a more sustained recovery...

It didn't rally send a message...or perhaps I'm a bit cynical, ITV/book like you Roserio

DogLover said...

My apologies to everyone who looked at the programme.

I mentioned it because I had seen an interview with the members of the family and had got the impression that it would be about the problems they had experienced while Ed Mitchell was drinking.

So often people who have not lived with an alcoholic have no idea of the madness and irrational feelings that take hold of friends and family in these circumstances. They do what they think is the best, only to find out that it piles pressure on the drinker, making him likely to drink even more!

Elaine said...

Damn, I missed it. I may even go over to itv catchup and see if it's listed.

HUGS. XXX

rosiero said...

Doglover - My comments were no reflection on you. Like you, I had hoped it would convey the whole problem a lot better than it did. As it happened, it seemed more of a big-ego trip for the man himself and to publicise his autobiography!!

Nota Bene said...

I missed the programme...but read quite a lot about him in The local paper...the ex-wife was interviewed, and not surprisingly she was very harsh. A very sad tale.

Bestest

Kit Courteney said...

I don't think it was the same programme that I saw last year (or perhaps the year before) from your post and these comments.

Sounds like a bit of a wasted opportunity - to not give a full view of the situation to those who would appreciate more information - but perhaps not for him if he has a book to promote.

I'm being harsh - it's late and I'm coughing (again!). Grrr...

Glad yours is diminishing... perhaps we'll both suddenly ping into betterness at the same time as we seemed to develop our coughs at the same time...?

Robert said...

I missed it...
...but it seems I didn't miss much.

However, I think it would take more than 20 or so minutes to do even the slightest justice to this subject.

Flowerpot said...

I didnt see the programme but it sounds as though they missed the important bits - as FFF said, about AA, getting throgh the day, and treatment at the Priory????!!! talk about how the other half live...

Stinking Billy said...

rosiero, doubtless, he will publish his book then be unable to resist celebrating with a bloody good drink. I didn't see the program, but it sounds as though it was a complete waste of viewers time.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I too missed the programme but I've heard of the fella slightly. One thing baffles me. There are so many programmes on individuals and families re every problem in the world. I know video cameras make film making easy but discounting famous people and those with a tv background how come so many know someone with a camera and the knowhow to make a documentary or is it my imagination. I know NOBODY with a tv background.

rosiero said...

Ken, I think very often the TV companies appeal in the Radio Times or a relevant magazine (like Alcoholics Weekly or Slimmer's Supplement or Family from Hell Monthly) for volunteers to step forward to have their private lives blazed in glorious widescreen! There are that many, who actually want their 15 minutes or hour of fame, who will enlist!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I saw the programme Rosiero and it wasn't until the end that I realised it was the one you had been referring to. Obviously pleased for Ed Mitchell that he had been sober for a year, but agree with you that it just seemed to be highlighting the fact that he is writing his autobiography. Can understand why you felt disappointed in the content of the programme.