Friday, 24 October 2008

'Mum, Heroin and Me' and me...

I watched 'Mum, Heroin and Me' this morning. I'd recorded it so that I could watch it without the ads that detract so much from anything that has any substance. Sorry for the pun. I thought that it gave a pretty good demonstration on how love can kill. Do you think that this is too severe an assessment of Hannah's mother and her, at any cost, desire to be a part of her daughter's life?

The point her mother made at so many times during the documentary was that Hannah hadn't fallen far enough, so that there was nothing that would make her stop her heroin addiction. In this case mum would help her whenever she could. Ok. I know that I'm making a judgement here and that I, of all people, have no right to do so. Was I any different to her? I certainly empathised with her frustration, irritation, anger and pure exhaustion at having someone in your life who was so egocentric and self-destructive that nothing was going to stand in their way, so long as they had their next hit. Except that, as far as I know, 'Zach' never actually used needles. One thing he hasn't got is a 'needle fixation.' His little fixation is the whole other paraphenalia - the papers, the rolling and the smoking.

hat I couldn't get my head around was the fact that Hannah's mum literally enabled her daughter to be a heroin addict, even so far as giving her the money and driving her to her dealer so that she could take her to her hair appointment! What was more important here? The pretty daughter or the girl who is fixated on the next needle print in arms, legs and feet? She's already spent £10,000 in one year on gear, I guess that another £10 worth won't make much of a difference.

Almost until the end, amidst my empathetic anger and irritation with Hannah, I believed that there was almost something here that would be of use to kids watching the programme. 'Don't use, kids. You may end up like Hannah...' But then the programme makers had to give us a happy ending. Notwithstanding that throughout the documentary Hannah had shown absolutely no itention of getting off heroin, her apathy and self-indulgance paramount, she's now gone off to South Africa to rehab for five months! Oh, yes. She did say at one time that she wanted to go away to get clean. Where was it? Somewhere like Arizona or South Africa but each other time that she'd actually made the pretence of going into rehab here, she'd lasted no time at all because she 'wasn't ready'

So when did this epiphany occur? The viewer wasn't prepared for this. It was added almost as an addendum at the very end of the programme. What was the catharsis? Did Hannah spend any real time looking after herself on the streets? Was she jailed or beaten senseless? Did she 'come to her senses' and realise that life wasn't worth living like this? At no time were we, the viewers, made aware that she had even considered that she had finally come to the conclusion that she wanted more from life than squalor or the next hit.

Well, I look forward to the next instalment. I wonder how soon Hannah will be back, looking for Rickie (who disappeared like a bad smell) and after the needles, the spoons and the silver foil. She's already ruined her parents' marriage, driven her mother to a mental breakdown and, no doubt, demonstrates very little emotional empathy for having destroyed her family. I'd be interested in what the programme makers have to say if she does indeed manage to remain in rehab and continue along the path to fulfillment. I'm afraid to say though, that from having watched the documentary, there's little hope in that. Such a pity.


Anonymous said...

i know this was posted a long time ago but i don't agree with anything you've said. hannah's sister is one of my best friends and you don't know the half of it.

Hannah Mayne said...

This epiphany occured the first time I watched the documentary myself a week before it was aired. Although I had on many occassions before been absolutely desperate to get clean. But the raw realisation of seeing what a monster i had become and how enslaved i was to heroin was vile and degrading. I didnt recognize the person on screen in front of me, not that I had ever really felt that I knew myself but was so shocked and ashamed of myself. All I had been thinking about for the last 3 years was pretty much were am I going to get my next fix from. Its 5 years later and I have faced up to my actions, those that were my own. The breakdown of my parents marrage was along time coming long before the first time I ever stuck a needle in my foot and as for my Mother who if it wasnt for her I wouldnt be here today, she kept me alive for 10 years and yes critics will say she did the wrong thing but if she had gone the tough love approach I know I wouldnt be here today. Also I don't think anyone can drive a person to a mental breakdown, they are responcable for how they react to situations. Yes I caused a great deal of emotional stress to my family and I completely take responcability for that but I was not the reason my parents split up and I may have been a contributing factor to my Mother having a mental breakdown but not the cause. I believe only ourselves are responcable for our actions and no other person can choose or dictate on how we deal with things. My rehab days are over thank god and all I actually want and strive to do with my life is to follow that path of fulfillment.