Many years ago, Chef and I watched the A&E program “Intervention” religiously, even contacted them about taking on our son. (They were in until he caught on and denied any use.) The hope at the end of each episode as the addict is shown after 90 days of rehab kept us going. Netflix has been suggesting I watch Nurse Jackie for almost a year. I resisted until a month ago. Having spent 90% of my life living among addicts, I couldn’t find the entertainment value. I can’t speak for the veracity of a nurse who uses drugs but the series has now captivated me. I initially was captured by Jackie’s charisma, her deep compassion for patients and her incredible wealth of knowledge. The fact that her personal life was a train wreck was secondary. She was still likable. I didn’t understand her use or why she was compromising her marriage or job but it seemed to be working for her. Until it wasn’t.
Watching her life unravel, watching those around her fight for her, harder than she was fighting, brought things too close to home and I took a break from my binge watching. Imagining successful rehab for her, I picked the remote back up only to be so disappointed, so angry. I get that it is tv but it is also real life for me. The lies, the constant lies. The manipulation of those closest to her, so ugly. She was no longer likable. The educated people in her life who gave her chances and opportunities that she discarded like the gloves after each patient reminded me of all that we have done for Arrow. The courage of some to draw strict boundaries, firing her, divorcing her. People who had loved her and were just used up by the continued choice of drugs over everything else. I was watching our life. When she began to hurt patients, to risk even that part of her life that she had cherished, her identity, I saw a true addict, because she didn’t stop. I hated her.
I understand that great tv needs conflict so there is little chance she will get clean, put her children first, regain her life. I pray our real life doesn’t need so many episodes to find resolution. I would be okay with our show being canceled. I don’t currently like our addict. I understand the disease but hate it and the behavior that comes with it. I hate the strict boundaries when I only want to draw him closer. Parenting an addict is contrary to everything a heart desires.
I think it is time for a new Netflix suggestion. This one is not entertaining.