What if you could live the dream?
What if the dream was also a nightmare?
So is the story of Dan Herren.
Hometown Hoops Hero, Professional Basketballer, and International Sports Star.
Husband, Father, and
Unguarded; a film by Jonathan Hock.*
The documentary aired last week on ESPN, and I thought it was excellent.
The show follows Herren, from Fall River, Massachusetts, as he became famous and then struggled with addictions that nearly robbed him of everything that mattered.
The contrast is sharp: Herren as the celebrity adored by basketball fans to a guy pawning his children's toys for $30 so that he could shoot-up.
The show works on several levels.
Herren is candid about his failings, and he is a gifted speaker.
The director was able to weave cuts of the former star telling his life's story to a variety of audiences including school groups and persons under criminal court-supervision.
Herren's life also reminds us of how difficult battling substance abuse can be.
For someone with a dependency, rarely is there one incident, a rehabilitation, and then an ending where all is forgotten.
Reality is more like Herren's story in that addicition is a long and painful journey involving one step forward and two steps back--as loved ones watch a promising life spiral out of control.
A viewer could select many positive themes from Unguarded.
One that I most appreciated was that of dreams.
It is easy to look at celebs, sports figures, or even friends and wish that we had their life.
The money. The power. The fame. Or the "ideallic" relationships and family.
But looks are notoriously deceiving.
As illustrated by Herrin's life, a "dream" as defined by perceived wealth may actually represent a nightmare.
When comparing your life to another, be careful what you wish for.
*Note: I took some liberties with the advertising quip for this show to make it best fit the post's message.