To me, it sounded a little harsh. 30, 60, 90 days or more in rehab -- He's done his time. Give the guy a chance.
And that, he explained to me, is the problem. Rehab isn't the same as jail. It's not about punishment. It's about coming face to face with a black hole inside you that you simply cannot fill. Some people get there in rehab; they get out and continue to work their program, continue to admit that dark hunger and their powerlessness over it and seek help.
Others get out and the old patterns begin again, just in new forms. Seduce those around you, now perhaps with your contrition. And try to fill, rather than face, the void.
I was put in mind of those words when I watched Tiger Woods’ press conference this morning. He was tightly scripted, as these affairs always are, but I don't doubt his emotions one bit. He has undoubtedly come face to face with an avalanche of new awareness about the consequences of his actions. It would be harrowing and devastating for anyone, let alone someone so fully in the public eye.
But as he hinted at getting back into golf at some point, maybe before the end of the year; as he noted -- in what seemed almost a momentary glimpse of the old Tiger talking about "yesterday's round" -- that he had taken a good step; and as he begged people to “find room in your heart to one day believe in me again”, much as I felt for him, somewhere within me those alarm bells rang.
On the face of it, the desires are certainly good, and I wish him well. But for the sake of everyone involved I wish him a lot more time to face his demons first. I hope he takes it.
Jim McDermott, SJ