In 1982, Louis Gossett Jr. earned an Oscar for his role in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” He was high on cocaine throughout the film shoot — and for the majority of the 80s. Louis battled with drugs and addiction due to the anger he felt toward those who discriminated against the color of his skin — anger he consistently took out on himself and his family.
Today, Louis is clean, sober and spiritual, and lives to help others; when he hit rock bottom, he was ready to stop making excuses because of the bad behavior of others, and change himself instead.
My grandmother is a huge part of my book, and a huge part of who I am today. She’d say, “Everyone has something. Everyone has some challenge to overcome. It is how we deal with that challenge that determines our future and makes all the difference in our lives.” For Louis, his something was the racism-fueled resentment fueling his addictions. And it didn’t help that the people around him at the highest point in his career only egged on his bad behavior (ahem… Essential Element #3: Surround yourself with winners!)
Today, Louis speaks to addicts and young people about drugs, alcohol and racism. He maintains the life he loves (Essential Element #5) by continuing to attend church services, AA or DRA meetings. He says, “There is no such thing as impossible, no matter how far down on the scale a person might be.” This is a guy who denied his addiction for years, and used just about every drug in the book… pretty amazing.
So, ask yourself… what’s your something?
If you follow the 5 Essential Elements, you will succeed at beating addiction. This is the solution. Let Louis be just one example of Believable Hope.