I never watched ‘Two and a Half Me’; mostly because I never seem to get involved with 30 minute sitcoms. The few times I did watch it, it was mostly because it was my Mother’s favorite show and she asked me to. The few episodes I watched were before most of the humor centered solely around sexual exploits, although it was clear where the show was headed even then.


I found Charlie quite funny, in a perfect, dry comic timing sort of way. He played the playboy. He played the bad boy. He was the boy turned man, the one all of us always wanted in high school. He had the swagger and the confidence and sex appeal and it didn’t hurt at all that he knew it. And clearly he knew it. That smirk, that knowing look that said, “yeah, me, I got it all figured out and what I got figured out, you wanna know.” I sort of wanted to know even if I wasn’t that keen on the show. He was dangerous and exciting and as I found out rich. For any of us women who like men with money, Charlie made 1.8 million per episode last year.

I saw Charlie today on the news. They aired it over and over, Sheen’s Korner.

He was recognizable, but in the way that horror movies show you what it’s like when evil or aliens or maniacs possess someone you’ve been watching that wasn’t previously possessed. They are still who they were but not really. Somehow whatever took them over is way more evil, scary, and demented then anything you ever guessed was in that person.

The video showed that Charlie was gaunt. The once smooth and healthy looking planes of his handsome face traced his skull more closely. His hair was disheveled in a mad man sort of way and he ran his hands through it repeatedly in manic gestures. But it was his eyes that told the story. Glassy and with no other way to describe it, he was lost in some fun house that only he could see.

I watched once more, as they showed the worst part of the clip, and realized I was watching a man, a successful man, a smart man, a rich man lose his mind on streaming video.

There is not a soul that watched that or that will watch that who won’t see the same thing. We’ve all heard the rumors of drugs and alcohol.

So here’s the thing. As all those substances are having a tea party in Charlies brain, busily abusing the many brain cells that fire the neurons that make Charlie, Charlie, all the while killing those even more neurons bathed as they are in the chemical cocktail he is swilling. And its all happening stealthily from his perspective because he still believes he’s that Charlie that I saw on ‘Two and Half Men’ five years ago. He’s losing it, hell, really he’s lost it and although his Dad knows it and his ex-employer knows it and anyone that watched the TV accounts or saw the internet knows it, Charlie doesn’t.

Now what do you think about that?

I mean really, what do you think about that?

What does it mean when someone, for whatever reason, maintains a reality that is diametrically opposed to the way everyone else in the world sees it?

I think that is a measure of ‘crazy’.

I have been thinking about this crazy measure before I saw Charlie loose his mind this morning. Because although most of us think we know why Charlie is losing his, nobody wants to ever think that that could be us or our daughter or dad or sister or friend or us. But I must admit I have been looking at a lot of the people in my life and myself and wondering: if ‘crazy’ is a scale measured in the relative distance between reality and how the person sees reality, the wider the distance, the more seriously flawed your perception is going to be. You know where I am going with this. Where do we fit on that scale?

I have been mentally putting some people I know on that scale.

I have been putting myself on that scale (which is quite difficult, by well, the very nature of what the scale represents, more on that later).

And scarily and worrisome to me have been these two things.

The first is that a lot of times, just like Charlie, we make ourselves crazy, with things that we don’t have to do to make ourselves crazy, at least not in the beginning. Substance abuse… no let me just say it weed, coke, heroin, Jack, Gin, LoneStar, oxycodon, darvon, Ambien … all or any of it, once you get past the point of no return, you’ll never recognize on your own that you’ve lost it. And when someone who loves you tries to tell you, you won’t believe it. Although I have never slid on that particular chemical coated slide, my Dad did and I, his daughter was there to watch it, as he Charlie-like, wild eyed and talking crazy talk, slid as far from reality as you could get.

The second thing that scares me is that it’s clear that some of us don’t need substances for our perceptions to get farther away from where they should. I for one have spent some time with Winston Churchill’s black dog. I imagine I will again. The stresses of motherhood and fatherhood and whatever other-hood can skew our thinking so badly that we don’t see ourselves the way others do. We don’t see things the way they really are.

So here’s this Happy Monday’s challenge, and I might add, hope.

Take stock TODAY. Are your loved ones seeing things the way you are? Are the ones who care most about you trying to tell you something? Step out of the fog for a small moment, take a look at Charlie’s Korner, take a good hard look, and then man up.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McCHhFJ4iZE&feature=related[/youtube]

Take a look at what he used to be. Take one more look at where his now.

1. You have a substance abuse problem? Get help.
2. You have problems with depression? Get help.
3. You have a problem with sexual additions? Get help
4. You have a gambling addiction? Get help
5. If you don’t have a substance abuse problem but are thinking about starting one? Talk to someone who has recovered.
6. If your life is pretty shitty, get 5 or 6 people who really love you, I mean really love you and get them to sit down with you, and ask them to be honest and help guide you to some help, because usually if your life is pretty shitty, if you are one of those people that believes it’s the many people around you that are bringing you down, you’ve somehow got to figure out that it’s not them. Get help.

Up there, that part about my own place on the scale… I told Silent Bob that soon as he saw me moving out of his reality and into one of my own making, he has explicit orders to check me into the nearest mental health facility.

“Ok”, he said, unperturbed nor surprised.

I will be back next Monday, titillating you with a series on Sex and Beauty, in Three or Four Parts, God willing … if SB hasn’t relocated me and my computer to Rusk.