The bleak forecast for a fallen hero – Tiger Woods in decline

TERRANCE GAVAN – BIG LEAGUE BLOGGER

Tiger Woods is at a crossroads. He is definitely addicted to painkillers, and if you find that hard to believe, just take a look at his sobriety field test just released to the vultures today.

It shows a stumbling, mumbling Tiger, deep in the throes of an inarticulate and embarrassing prelude to a July 5 court appearance where he will appear articulate and fresh of face with a spit-polished avocat hovering at his side. Something smart will ooze from the lawyer and Tiger will stand sombre in front of a Florida judge, who we must agree, could just as easily have been his coroner.

We have had better days! Still not as bad as Nick Nolte.

Because Tiger Woods could have died that night. His car was a mess, he was messier and the man put his own life and the lives of citizens at grave risk.

Tiger may get a pass, but he should be better than that. He should notch his noggin into the mindset that it’s all gone beyond the pall. The perpetual dance of of one’s mind that denies vehemently the cause and effect of that deficit of thought.

Because that’s what happens in the addicted mind. Neurons start to misfire, paranoia and depression follow and all of it culminates in a wicked devaluation of one’s spirit.

At the end, or nadir of the process comes a notion: What’s the use?

The answer to that my friends spans a truly mind-buggering plethora of options and none of those loose-rambling alternatives are very easy to parse.

On that night Tiger could have succumbed to one of the obvious conclusions. That is … conclusion by way of cessation. He could have crossed the line on his way from the airport redeye flight on his way home. He could have gone alone or he might have taken some innocents with him.

Right now? He could choose the path of least resistance and go back to pretending that this was just an aberration. Michael Phelps, the human flipper, has done it twice. And he has outrode the ridicule and the anger and the loss of sponsorships. Tiger could just keep his head down, trust his barristers and let it all simmer from boil.

None of these alternatives specify any commitment to fixing things. He’s got some repair work and that may be the hardest decision he’s ever made in his life. It requires a commitment to change and change when you’ve been to the pinnacle means taking everything you’ve learned, all that stuff that got you to the top, and turning it on its head.

When the thing you do best? Leaves of a sudden? It leaves a scar. Not those physical surgical scars, but the indelible cuts to psyche. Comes a time when addicted souls must ask … Is this it. Tiger is facing mortality and because of his commitment to a game, and the physical toll it has taken, he is facing mortality blurred by the ambient glow of a vicodin-induced haze.

As a recovered alcoholic I can speak only for myself and where I’ve been. I did not find sobriety until all the warning signs had drifted laconically past my field of vision. I do know that an addicted mind does not let go. One must find one’s own nadir. The bottom.

What recovered addicts and alcoholics hope for anyone in the ditch is redemption. We try not to judge. But 19 years removed from a last drink the compulsion to judge is always a nudged niggle in an imperfect mind.

I’m hoping and I’m cheering for Tiger Woods. He’s got kids and a legacy to work on.

Sometimes that’s enough to urge body and soul to action.

I do know that if I could take a step, Tiger can.

Judge not lest ye …

But Tiger, for Christ’s sake … Just Do It!

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