Patrick Smith writing in the Australian newspaper concludes that the Tiger Woods experience carries messages for all celebrities and sports stars. It also carries messages for us all in 12 Step Fellowship recovery plus life for all in general.
Tiger’s immense and clean celebrity status affirmed the cliché ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall’. And, as all people in recovery know, the fall from grace is devastating.
Most recovering alcoholics, addicts and co-dependents fear making amends to some people they have hurt. And, Tiger Woods did not appear to be any less fearful at his press conference. Woods said “… I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position.”
Tiger then goes onto say words that would be similar or familiar to all who have worked a 12 Step program of recovery.
“I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.” See Tigerwoods.com for full transcript.
Patrick Smith calls the message from Woods, the ‘Tiger Truths’. These are;
1) Only you are responsible for your behaviour;
2) Never forget your core values;
3) Normal rules and standards always apply;
4) Think about who might be hurt;
5) You are not entitled to special privileges, and;
6) Money and fame abused are a toxic mix.
These principles are embodied in the suggested 12 Steps to recovery and all writings within those fellowships. If there was a ‘Celebrity Anonymous’ perhaps the first Step would be ‘We admitted we were powerless over money and fame – that our lives had become unmanageable.’
Patrick Smith also puts doubt on the motivation for Woods public apology asking if “…sponsors first, family second?” Who knows?
Many in long term recovery will know there is another possibility. Is Tiger Woods ‘complying or surrendering’ to the process of recovery? See Acceptance and Surrender. There is no fault here as there is always an immense pressure to comply and in Tiger Woods case there certainly is immense pressure. Compliance rather than surrender would be subconscious and not deliberate. Unfortunately, if Tiger is just complying he may relapse. We hope not.
Patrick Smith concludes “Woods has won 14 major tournaments and is considered the greatest golfer in history.
But the Tiger Truths could well be his greatest legacy.”
We hope he returns to golf soon as the art of Tiger’s golf is too precious to lose.