Unguarded: Careful What You Wish For

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

Addict.

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.

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*Note: I took some liberties with the advertising quip for this show to make it best fit the post's message.

30 comments:

Suz said...

Looks good. I think I'll see if they're going to air it again.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I don't have ESPN, but even without watching, you make a good ending point... a good lesson.

Pat Hatt said...

I'll just wish for the money, the rest of it they can keep haha. Yeah what one perceives of their lives isn't always the case. But alot of the times they just whine for attention anyway, mostly actors.

Stephanie D said...

Great post, thanks for sharing. And I love your blog background, very nice!

Little Ms. Fun said...

I didn't know ESPN aired stuff like this. I'll have to cut some time out of my CW shows and check this out!

P.S. Ever since those photos of Gronkowski came out, I've been swooning. I find myself yelling things at the TV such as "Gronkowskiii, he's a brick wall!!" and "My mann!". hahaha

Rachna Chhabria said...

I will check to see if they air this in India. It sounds good.

Miranda Hardy said...

Addictions are so horrible. Glad he used his experience to help others.

Clarissa Draper said...

SOunds like a wonderful movie and something they should show in high schools to those who want that life. As a warning.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sounds like an interesting show. If we hadn't shut off our tv, I might watch it!

ladyfi said...

You're right - wishes can be deceptive...

Deniz Bevan said...

That last line is good advice for everyone!

Jenny said...

So many lives are damaged by addiction...it is truly horrifying.

Our youngest daughter has struggled against it since she was 13 years old. 16 years of truly living in hell. When she started shooting up heroin about 8 years ago things escalated into total ugly insanity.

This is a battle so many fight...and everyone that loves for and cares for the addict is left battle scarred from the experience as well.

Ciara said...

It sounds like a powerful documentary. It's great that he agreed and was so honest about his addiction. Hopefully it will help others.

The Blonde Duck said...

It's funny how most of us crave fame and fortune when it can be so destructive!

Elena said...

I'll have to look for this doc...thanks for the heads up.

Diane said...

Sounds like a great movie. Glad he found his way. :O)

Beth Zimmerman said...

I didn't realize there was anything worth watching on ESPN. Sorry I missed this. You described it well!

Holly Lefevre said...

I am going to have to watch this. I do not watch a lot of sports, but I am intrigued by peoples stories and this one sounds fascinating. I can always count on you for a good story!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

sounds like an interesting movie. thanks for sharing.
i also thank you so much for your lovely comments on my blog.

it is much appreciated!!
i love your blog!

hope you have a great day!
betty

Brian Miller said...

nice...this sounds like an honest look at the dangers of celebrity and addiction...will look it up

Jeanette Levellie said...

Good for him. Thanks for sharing,
Jen

Kell said...

Drugs are a sad, sad thing. I'm content with the life I have, that's for sure.

Lisa said...

The old saying, "be careful what you wish for...you might get it" is true on so many levels. Usually when it looks like someone has everything going for them, all we need to do is look closer to see something totally different. I wish Herren the strength to continue to get healthy again.

dkzody said...

He played here at Fresno State and a friend of mine spoke of watching the movie as she & her husband are great Bulldog fans and remember Chris Herren very well. She felt that he has definitely turned his life around. Only time will tell.

WomanHonorThyself said...

I have been close to addicts and it is so painful to watch them living each day as it were a year at times..God bless the ones who overcome Slam... Have a blessed week my friend.:)

SandyCarlson said...

Looks like a gripping story.

Thanks for a great post, and thanks for stopping by.

Lydia Kang said...

How horrifying. Addiction is truly frightening, what it can do to lives.

jodeeluna said...

Fantastic post! I often wonder what problems would arise from fame and fortune. I've heard horror stories of celebrity lives gone bad. Thanks for reminding me to be careful what I wish for.

Momma Fargo said...

Looks like a good show. I think I will see if it is available online.

Momma Fargo said...

Looks like a good show. I think I will see if it is available online.