Former NBA player Lamar Odom has penned a powerful essay for The Players’ Tribune about his lifelong struggle with addiction, and how he is attempting to overcome it.
It is a devastating read.
(Warning: It contains some profanity.)
Even if you’re not an NBA fan, you may remember when his name became somewhat of a tabloid fixture after marrying Khloe Kardashian and starring in the reality show Khloe & Lamar. In 2015, he nearly died from a drug overdose while visiting a brothel, and was in a coma and on life-support before eventually making a recovery.
In his essay, he writes about the incident but also the choices that led him to it. Not only did he lose his mother at the age of 12, but his 6-month-old son died unexpectedly 11 years ago, as a result of sudden infant death syndrome. He writes, “I used to think about what he would look like if he was still here. Actually, I still think about it almost every day.”
He also discusses his cocaine addiction and his constant battle to remain sober: “I’m sober now. But it’s an everyday struggle. I have an addiction. I’ll always have an addiction. It never goes away. I mean, I want to get high right now. But I know that I can’t if I want to be here for my children.” (He is the father to a teenage son and daughter.)
He recalls a particularly powerful moment from the night of his overdose:
I kept thinking about something that my grandmother used to say to me when I was a kid.
I could see her face, like she was right there in the room.
“What’s done in the dark,” she would say, “will come out in the light.”
I think of all the sneaky s*** I tried to get away with. All the times I did wrong. All the stuff I tried to hide. If it’s not in the public light, it’s in God’s light.
I was laying there in that bed, hooked up to all these machines, people all around me crying, and there was no running from it anymore.
It is an inspiring look at addiction and redemption.