Dug McGuirk interviewing Jennifer Gimenez as part of Palm Partner’s new “The Real Deal On…” series.
Author: Shernide Delva
Jennifer Gimenez is a successful model, actress and reality television personality who has had a successful career in Hollywood. She’s appeared in major films like Blow, Vanilla Sky, and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, along with TV shows such as The Bold and the Beautiful. She’s also made regular appearances on the Bravo reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
However, Gimenez’s proudest achievement is overcoming a tumultuous battle with substance abuse. She now has over 11 years sober and shares her story of recovery across the country. Gimenez has appeared in a variety of addiction-based reality television shows such as Sober House and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Gimenez opened up about her inspiring story of recovery with VP of Training and Development, Dug McGuirk as part of our new The Real Deal On… series. We wanted to share just a few of the powerful moments Gimenez shared in the interview.
Please stay tuned for the professionally edited interview set for release in the upcoming weeks!
On Her Most Profound Moments:
When Gimenez discussed her more profound moments in sobriety, she reflected on her first year sober. She remembers going to Argentina to visit her grandmother in the hospital before she passed. It was summer in Argentina, and excruciatingly hot. Gimenez remembers walking on dirt roads experiencing the intense feeling of heat for the first time.
I started screaming, ‘I’m hot! I’m hot!’ Everyone‘s like looking at me like I was crazy. I realized at that moment I was feeling, I was feeling heat. […] Then I realized it was January 15th, a year later after I got sober this time around. From being in the psych ward and trying to kill myself and all that stuff, to being there, it was like mind-blowing that I actually felt and that my life got a little bit better. That was a big major turning point for me and I felt like I came out of a coma. I went ‘Holy Shit, I am alive. I’m really alive. I’m really here.” Every year, I feel like there’s always so many other moments, but that one was my first.
Gimenez’s realized a major part of early sobriety is re-learning what it means to feel.
As addicts and alcoholics, and especially in recovery and early recovery, I feel like we don’t know how to feel. We don’t know it’s okay to feel hot and uncomfortable.
On Healing Through Writing:
Gimenez says one of the best tools she discovered in sobriety was learning how to write to express her emotions.
I had to write every single day in my early recovery, and I always go back to that.
At first, the task of writing every day in treatment was far from easy.
I’d be like [writing] ‘fuck, fuck fuck”… for three pages, ‘fuck’ And then like, I think maybe like a week later, it was like ‘I feel like shit.’ Then, you start to feel like there’s something very powerful from your brain to your arm to your hand, hand to pen; pen to paper… the truth comes out.
Eventually, the writings started to express how she really felt inside:
I’d wake up, and I’m like ‘I really miss my dad today… like why’d he have to go. Why am having to struggle today? I’m so over going to meetings or whatever it is that I was feeling.’
Gimenez says understanding her emotions helped her understand herself. While she has bins of writings from those early days in recovery, she has not looked back in a long time. Instead, she reflects most on a list she made when she was determining what she wanted to be in life.
At two and a half years sober, I had to figure out what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. […] I wrote 85 things, and I still have those in my nightstand. That’s really cool to look at. I like looking at it once a year to see what’s come true.
On Accepting Self- Care-
One of the areas Gimenez says she has struggled with tremendously was wanting perfectionism. She discussed how, ultimately, that desire held her back the most. She remembers a conversation with her sponsor when she realized the idea of perfection was unobtainable:
“My sponsor would be like, ‘Can you define perfect in this scenario’ in whatever conversation we were talking about, and I couldn’t define it. There is no perfection,” she said.
“My sponsor always says, ‘Why don’t’ you try to be more of a human being, then a human doer. I am a doer. I don’t want to be that,” she admitted.
Instead, Gimenez now focuses on breathing, living in the moment, and accepting herself as God intended her to be.
“I was born to be okay and being okay is perfect,” she said.
Eventually, Gimenez learned to accept herself and celebrate all aspects of the person she is intended to be. Her story has inspired many in recovery and those struggling with their addiction.
I don’t want to be here to judge people. I want to be here to love people and celebrate people. I think it’s so important because I know that I am in recovery. […] I also know that I am an arm length away from my next drink or drug if I choose that. Today, I choose life. I choose to live. I choose to turn my will over. I choose to be in recovery. I choose to try to be my best self and with that being said, I also, through trial and error, am going to figure out who that best self is.
Throughout the interview, Gimenez discussed important subjects such as:
- Learning self-love
- Doing the work in recovery
- Accepting Cliches (Hint: they’re true!)
- Processing childhood trauma
- Coping with grief
- Why ignorance is pain
- Feeling “the feather” vs. “the truck”
- Staying motivated in long-term sobriety
- Listening to the inner voice
- Addressing the current opioid epidemic
Stay tuned for the full edited interview in the upcoming weeks! Jennifer Gimenez story is incredibly inspiring and proves that recovery is a possibility for anyone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free. You are not alone.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Whether you remember him from Even Stevens, or from Transformers, Shia LaBeouf has had a long career so far in Hollywood. In his twenties, he scored a role with Steven Spielberg on the fourth Indiana Jones and soon was the face of the Transformers film franchise.
At the beginning, things seemed to be going great. Then, all began to change. A slew of arrests garnered LaBeouf some negative media attention. He was ordered to six months of court-ordered outpatient alcohol rehab. Suddenly, LaBeouf was becoming more known for his erratic behavior than his acting skills.
The old’ “troubled” actor narrative is all too familiar . Nevertheless, Shia LeBeouf is confident that he is on the right track. He has reinvented himself on his terms. In a recent interview, the 30-year-old revealed the circumstances that led to his downward spiral and how he is recovering from that turbulent period in his life.
Adjusting to Hollywood
LaBeouf admits starring on the Disney Channel series Even Stevens never felt quite right. He did not feel connected to the Disney brand. He and his friends “were outsiders” and “it felt distant” from his reality. Furthermore, LaBeouf talked about his humble beginning in Echo Park, where he was raised by his mother:
“We didn’t have nothing. So I would steal Pokemon video games and Tamagotchis,” he said.
While filming Even Stevens, LaBeouf stayed with his Father in a hotel. He remembers that “there were drugs everywhere—marijuana, cocaine, heroin. [My dad] gave me my first joint when I was probably 11 or 12.”
Labeouf continued to star in films like Tru Confessions and Holes. Then, 2007 happened, and suddenly LaBeouf was making mainstream hits such as Disturbia and the first of the Transformer franchise. The following year, the much anticipated Indiana. Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released, although it had mixed reviews.
Downward Spiral: Giving Up Alcohol
Despite the commercial success of the film, LaBeouf said he felt disillusioned working on the big budget movies and called Spielberg “less a director than he is a fucking company.” His comments about Spielberg were criticized heavilly in the media.
Not too long after, LaBeouf began drinking heavily.
“Part of it was posturing. I never knew how to drink. I never liked to drink, but I knew you had to drink,” he told the magazine. “It was a weird post-modern fascination with the fuck-ups.”
With all the chaos surrounding his drinking, LaBeouf had to accept the effect alcohol had on him.
“I got a Napoleonic complex. I start drinking and I feel smaller than I am, and I get louder than I should. It’s just not for me, dude.”
LaBeouf says he has not had a drink for about a year now. He regularly attends AA meetings but does not consider himself an addict.
“You don’t touch it,” he said. “Alcohol or any of that shit will send you haywire. I can’t fuck with none of it. I’ve got to keep my head low.”
LaBeouf’s commitment to sobriety has allowed the actor to make a turnaround in his career. American Honey, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival in the spring, so far has been well received. LaBeouf is currently shooting Borg vs. McEnroe, a film about the rivalry between tennis stars Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. We applaud LaBeouf’s commitment to sobriety and his story is one many in recovery can relate to.
Remember, the road to recovery is not easy. However, like LaBeouf, once you realize how detrimental your life is abusing substances, you will know it is time to make a change. The good news is you do not have to do it on your own. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Jamie Lee Curtis was known in her early career as a “scream queen.” She was a horror movie sensation. She starred in famous horror movies like Halloween, Halloween II, Prom Night, Terror Train and Roadgames. Then later on in her career, she did other genre films like Blue Steel and Freaky Friday. While most people know Jamie Lee Curtis from her extensive body of work, very little know about Curtis’s long addiction to opiates.
After the death of Prince, Jamie Lee Curtis felt compelled to publish an article in the Huffington Post about her struggles with addiction. Although tests have not confirmed the cause of Prince’s death, many reports are saying the musician struggled with an opiate addiction which ended his life in an overdose.
Jamie Lee Curtis, now 57, says she believes she is “one of the lucky ones.” She was able to come out of her opiate addiction alive. In her article, she illustrates the powerful lure of opioids. Curtis began taking opiates after a routine surgical procedure at 35 years old. In a 2009 article following the death of Michael Jackson, she wrote about how she soon became addicted after being prescribed the pills by her doctor.
“Most people who become addicted, like me, do so after a prescription for a painkiller following a medical procedure. Once the phenomenon of craving sets in, it is often too late,” she wrote.
Like many addicts, the moment Curtis became hooked on the drugs; she wanted it more and more.
“I too, waited anxiously for a prescription to be filled for the opiate I was secretly addicted to. I too took too many at once. I too sought to kill the emotional and physical pain with pain killers. Kill it. Make it stop.” She revealed in 2008 that it had gotten so bad that she was stealing pills from her sister.
Curtis is now 17 years in recovery. She says she can relate to Prince’s struggle with opiates because her addiction was just as toxic. She continued explaining how she not only mourns the passing of a phenomenal artist; she mourns all potential artists past and presents who get caught in this deadly addiction.
“Let’s work harder, look closer and do everything we can not to enable and in doing so, disable, our loved ones who are ill. This is what it sounds like when we all cry,” she says.
As a result of her personal addiction battle, Curtis now makes it her priority to spread awareness of this disease. She serves as a voluntary counselor and public speaker for anti-drug campaigns. In 2014, Curtis witnessed her friend overdose from a combination of alcohol and prescription medication and alcohol. Fortunately, her friend made a full recovery and was released from the hospital hours later.
Curtis says her sobriety is the greatest accomplishment of her life because it broke the cycle of addiction that was prevalent in her family. She now maintains her sobriety by being open about her past.
“Being courageous enough to acknowledge it privately with my family and friends. Working really hard at solidifying it, getting support around it and being healthy. And then talking about it publicly. That is the single greatest accomplishment of my life, “ she says.
Curtis has an amazing story of recovery; however it certainly was not easy for her to get to that point. It took work and acknowledging she had a problem. Therefore, if you are struggling with addiction, the time is now to admit that you need help with this disease. Call us today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.
Author: Justin Mckibben
This week the world lost yet another incredible and iconic artist who gave so much originality and uniquely inspiring efforts to creating a sound and a vibe that changed music. Doves cry now, along with the countless legions of fans and close friends mourning the genius mind of cultural and artistic innovation that was Prince.
Shortly after his tragic passing this week at the young age of 57, Prince’s legacy is being celebrated all over the world- but not unlike many other rock stars before him, his untimely death is being questioned and queried over by sources everywhere while the official cause of death is awaited, and some are looking at the last week of his life to see if a rumored opiate overdose had anything to do with the health issues that stole from this world a brilliant and phenomenal purple light so soon.
The Life of THE Prince
Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since becoming a household name he has been known simply by the alias Prince, while also transitioning to “The Artists Formerly Known as Prince” and even changed his stage name in 1993 to an unpronounceable symbol known as the “Love Symbol” for a brief time. Prince was a verbose and versatile man, described as:
- Record producer
Prince was legendary as an innovator, and has been vastly venerated for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. As the pioneer of Minneapolis sound, Prince’s music integrates a wide variety of styles, including:
His album Prince released in 1979 and the successful singles featured on the playlist skyrocketed his record to platinum status. Since then his achievements in the realm of music have amplified, including:
- Selling over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.
- Winning 7 Grammy Awards
- Winning a Golden Globe Award
- Winning an Academy Award
Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
As if that wasn’t enough, he wrote a Batman album!
This man was a stellar performer, a visionary who was hip to the vigilante in all of us, and he could just SHRED a guitar like nobody’s business! He pushed boundaries of the typical American man in fashion and style, and he inspired artists for decades after his first hit.
6 Days before Death of Prince
Prince was exceptional about keeping his personal life pretty private, so many have wondered how such a heartbreaking development happened so fast, and how a presumably healthy vegetarian such as Prince could die at only 57 years old.
Now according to various sources which reported to the tabloid TMZ, Prince was treated just 6 days before his death for a drug overdose.
Prince’s private jet made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois last Friday, hours after he performed in Atlanta. Originally the shows had been postponed when his reps said he was battling the flu. Then after his emergency landing people started questioning this reasoning because his plane was only 48 minutes from home when it made the stop. Why was this flu issue so urgent?
Multiple sources in Moline reported to TMZ that Prince was rushed to a hospital and doctors gave him a “save shot,” which sounds a lot like a Naloxone-type-deal… but could be an emergency flu shot… maybe… if that is a thing? Typically a “save shot” like Naloxone administered to counteract the effects of an opiate.
TMZ has published that further sources stated that doctors advised Prince to stay in the hospital for 24 hours, but that this plan was abandoned after Prince couldn’t get a private room. Prince was released 3 hours after arriving and flew home.
Goodbye to The Purple One
Currently authorities in Minnesota are trying to get the hospital records from his visit to Moline to help determine cause of death, and at the time this article was written Prince’s reps were not able to be reached for comment.
Prince was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. Thursday, April 21 after begin found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios. While an investigation has been launched into the cause of death, the autopsy is scheduled for today, meaning we may have developments at any moment.
Is Prince another victim of too many pills and not enough people protecting his health? Or is this all just speculation and rumor? Was his privacy a cause for concern, or is it this very kind of speculation and invasive assumption he was avoiding while staying out of the public eye? We have no authority at this time to make an assumption on the cause of death, nor would I as a writer wish to tarnish the name of such an amazing musician… but that being said the emergency landing story does raise a question whether we like it or not. In the past we have seen how the incredibly famous have been pumped full of drugs, be it for legitimate medical reasons (which is possible considering Prince’s health history with the need for hip surgery) or otherwise illicit drug use, and allowed to teeter on the edge for far too long before it costs them their lives.
For now, all we can do is say goodbye to Alexander Nevermind… Jamie Starr… Joey Coco… the Prince who changed lives with Purple Rain and taught us how to party like its 1999 back when it was only 1982. He gave us the Batdance, and he was the baddest soul brother to tear up a stage with a guitar that looked like a chunk of purple abstract art. Remembered as a kind and ambitious force of conviction and astounding talent. Thank you, Prince… for the life you gave to the world.
“A strong spirit transcends rules.”
Artists, musicians, celebrities of all kinds face the same temptations, and sometimes the same circumstances when it comes to substance abuse and addiction, and some have not survived their struggles with substances. While this may not apply to Prince, the message here could at least be that life is precious and every opportunity to make yours better should be a priority. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135