Friday, September 14, 2007

Powerless over alcohol, lives unmanageable

Rob Briley isn't my state representative. I've never voted for him but the fact remains he's a voice in the Tennessee House of Representatives and so his criminal conduct is my business. His behavior and subsequent arrest are very troubling. Based on what I've read and seen in the news reports and what I know about alcohol addiction I believe that it is past time for Mr. Briley to put his personal life first and hand over his responsibilities to the citizens of the 52nd District to another. To those who will be charged with finding a replacement--it should not be his brother David Briley, a recent Councilman-at-large and mayoral candidate who might be a logical choice. I believe David needs to stay available for Rob and his family during what is likely to be a very difficult healing process.

Rob should resign now so that our new representative can have as much lead time as possible in preparing for January's legislative session. There is no way that Rob can do any sort of 30 day in-patient program to deal with his alcohol addiction, conclude a divorce, handle the emotional fallout from both that surely is greatly impacting his children and still do a good job for the citizens of District 52 come January. He needs to free himself from this political responsibility in order to do justice to the more important ones to himself and his family.

It's frustratingly familiar to read in this morning's Tennessean these quotes from Rob Briley:

"I have been dealing with substance abuse my entire lifetime, whether that was with a grandparent, a parent or me," he said.
and then he goes on to say:
"I regret what I have done tremendously,'' he said. "But what I would like to do, hopefully, is to learn from it and use this as a means to highlight substance abuse, the need for treatment, treatment facilities and to kind of shed some light on what I think oftentimes is a disease that is kind of kind of swept under the carpet."
The best way he could 'highlight...the need for treatment...and shed some light on [alcoholism]' is to devote himself to getting well to the exclusion of all else and then tell his story. We don't need him to create more treatment facilities or become the latest face of this awful family curse. We need him to get through this journey to wellness. It's an old and already tried path to try and control the uncontrollable. Likely there are people in his life that have tried and tried to help, but some cannot stop until they get to the bottom. I hope this is it for Rob Briley. It'll be my prayer that this man will realize that now is the time to understand how powerless this politically powerful man is against alcoholism, to devote himself to those steps to health, to stop sweeping IT under the carpet himself and reclaim the rest of his life.

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