Update:It has been 12 years since Ferguson’s initial monologue and it is still as relevant as ever.

It’s been 11 years to the day that the world was given the gift of Craig Ferguson’s Britney Spears monologue. It’s a moment in time that could be considered the most honest any talk show host has ever been. It’s a speech that anyone in dual diagnosis treatment should watch at least once a year, something that perhaps their families should watch to remind them that addiction has a human side.

This video means more to people in treatment for dual diagnosis than any celebrity drug addiction story.

Please, take 12 minutes and 30 seconds of your life to watch this video:

An Honest Look at Addiction

@3:59

“I’m trying to be honest with you, I’m not an expert on alcoholism or anything else but I am an expert on my own story.”

In Craig Ferguson’s Britney Spears monologue, he continues to make the point that he is only speaking from his experience.

There is a formula to treat addiction and mental illness. Dual diagnosis treatment centers use proven methods to treat both successfully but the long-term success is based on each individual addict’s story.

Are you ready to write your own story, to be in control of your own narrative?

@5:28

“I’ll go down to Tower Bridge in London … and I’ll swan dive to my death … and I thought by doing this I’ll show them. I didn’t even know who they were, but I was going to show them. I was desperately confused and desperately twisted and turned up side down by whatever the hell was going on in my head.”

Ferguson touches on a pivotal point here. The “I’ll show them” attitude comes from a place of deep resentment. Addicts or people suffering with mental illness are usually filled with resentment.

In his book Drug Alcohol Addiction: Evil from Within, Bruce Dutchuk states: “It is a well-known fact that resentment is the number one reason an alcoholic or addict will relapse…” [1]

Addicts usually blame “them”, the unknown oppressor who has caused all their problems. In Craig Ferguson’s Britney Spears monologue, he mentions, he didn’t even know who they were.

Ferguson makes a point about responsibility here.

@11:03

“You have to be responsible for your actions, sick or well.”

In most cases, there is no one else to blame. And even in cases where someone terrible person has caused you pain and suffering, you cannot blame them for your inability to take action to fix your addiction or mental illness. Remember that you have full control over your life. Make it better.

What It Means for Britney Spears

The week in question is infamous. Britney Spears was checking in to rehab and shaving her head around the time of this shows release. Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were in similar personal hells. And the world watched and judged.

Through all that, Craig Ferguson’s Britney Spears monologue was a breath of fresh air and a head of its time. The monologue only has 300K video on YouTube and Ferguson’s show was less popular than his late show counterparts.

But the world is a very different place, 11 years later and maybe we are ready to hear the message.

@2:03

“I had similar feelings when I used to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos, ya know, you would be laughing at the kid falling over and then you’d go, ‘wait a minute, put down the damn camera and help your kid’”.

Britney Spears was doomed because her persona was not her own. Every part of her belonged to someone else.

Andrew Jenks unpacks the Britney Spears story, especially her breakdown, quite well in his podcast, What Really Happened?

Jenks thinks that this kind of media witch hunt is less likely these days because social media has given the stars power to mold their own image.

Sources:

[1]: Bruce Dutchuk – Drug Alcohol Addiction: Evil from Within

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