In the showstopper, heart-wrenching number “Maybe this Time” from Cabaret, Sally Bowles sings “Everybody loves a winner so nobody loves me.” Pardon me while I get all musical theater faggy on you but this Kander and Ebb song from 40 years ago couldn’t be more relevant to this addict especially when talking about the could-have been comeback of Lindsay Lohan.
In the days leading up to her appearance on Saturday Night Live, Lohan popped up all over NBC on shows like the Today show and Jimmy Fallon. Lohan was quick to tell Matt Lauer she was sober and that she knew she’d have a long road before folks trusted her again. But like a good little girl in recovery, she said she was ready to do the work. Policing a famous person’s sobriety is something I have no time for. I’m crazy enough on my own, thank you very much. But I have always rooted for the girl. And so have a lot of folks. That’s why when her hosting gig on SNL failed to blow folks out of the water, the press was eager to dub her the worst host of the year. (which by the way would be subjective since that program stopped being funny right around the time Tina Fey left and hasn’t ever gotten it’s mojo back, in my opinion.)
Even though Lindsay has struggled in public to get sober I identify with wanting to prove yourself and wanting people to see you’ve changed even if you’re not totally ready. I went back to school in 2009 when I got sober. I wanted so badly to prove that I could finish and get a degree and make my life happen the way I thought people wanted it to. School in some ways was a total God send. It was great distraction from my hot mess of a life and I was able to work on things that interested me. Yet 7 months into the education rejuvenation, I was thrown the curve ball of an HIV diagnosis and I also realized my drug and alcohol problems were deeper than I expected. This getting better thing had to become a full-time job. School was hard and need my full attention. And with figuring out meds, places to live and how to survive, it was tough to focus. I beat the crap out of myself because I had to take a break and get my life together– again. I wanted to prove to the planet that “Yes, Sean can finish things and be successful.” But the cold hard fact was, I wasn’t ready.
Thankfully, I became ready for bigger things as time went on. But I had to stop and move slower and realize all of this recovery stuff takes a really long freaking time. So Lindsay, wherever you’re at in sobriety, remember there’s always a next time. And if you hang in there, eventually, you’ll win.