Developmental Psychologist Erik Erikson once said, “In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.” Indeed, of the many souls who must navigate the social jungle in the misery of an identity crisis, none is more notable this week than former NBA player, Lamar Odom. His health is still in a heap of trouble as sports, news and entertainment writers report, recap and lament every detail available of the unfortunate (and very public) near death experience of this lost soul in a Nevada brothel. Basketball player, husband, brother-in-law, celebrity, teammate, wage earner, best friend—too much of his sense of identity came to an end at once. Too many roles snatched away too close together for most, and waaay too many for one who didn’t have the inner resources to deal with those losses. I imagine he felt less than alive leading up to that tragic event
This guy’s spirit just kept taking a lifetime of hits. His mom dies when he’s 12 years old. His heroin addicted father isn’t around to raise him so his grandmother raises him—in a drug infested neighborhood. His infant son dies of SIDS in 2006. His cousin is murdered in 2011. While in town for services, the car in which Odom is riding, strikes and kills a teen, leaving Odom deeply affected. His best friend since childhood Jamie Sangouthai, an addict, dies a drug related death just four months ago. Another close friend, also an addict, dies a couple of weeks later. On October 13, 2015—he very nearly joined them. He is one lost soul.
Haters want to blame the Kardashians for his downfall, but the truth is, this was a long time coming.
Lamar’s public relationship with drugs and sex dates back to long before he ever met Khloe Kardashian in 2009. Consequences of his addiction date back to 2001 at least. That death seems to surround this guy has nothing to do with the Kardashians. That he would have no privacy whatsoever as he tried to find his way through incredibly difficult circumstances, has everything to do with them. Resisting the urge to digress now…I want with all my heart for this guy to heal, get sober and build a happy life.
Well, since this is a hypnosis blog, where does hypnosis fit in with all this? Hypnosis is a great adjunct tool for people in recovery. Through access to the subconscious mind, we can understand how a person who comes from addiction becomes an addict and heal a shame based upbringing. We can tap neuroplasticity as a means of finding new associations, silencing negative self talk and soothing inner turmoil to avoid relapse. Then, there’s that whole self-forgiveness thing. Dear Lamar will have lots of work to do there as well. We’ll get to work on reframing the shift in his identity and developing a new improved self identity that is at its core, authentic and becomes the foundation on which to build a happy life.
So come on, Lamar Odom—get in my chair! With your health the way is, by the time we can meet you will be fully detoxed and we can get to work. Looks like the world loves you more than you love yourself. Let’s fix that.
About the author: Mona Jones is a Certified Hypnotherapist in Orange County, CA who works with clients who are in recovery or who are affected by an addicted family member. Together they work on rebuilding inner identity, self esteem, sustained sobriety and peaceful living. For more information contact Mona Jones, C.Ht. using the contact page of this website.