Lamar Odom revealed in a letter on The Player’s Tribune on Thursday that his cocaine abuse became significantly worse after his 6-month-old son, Jayden, died suddenly in the summer of 2006.
In the letter, which was accompanied by a video, Odom showed a raw and vulnerable side of himself, speaking honestly about how his cocaine addiction affected his life, his children’s lives, and the lives of those who cared about him, including ex-wife, Khloe Kardashian.
Odom explained how he first tried cocaine on a trip to Miami when he was 24. Before that, the most he’d done was some marijuana, but Odom was no stranger to hardship and loss. He shared how losing his mother to cancer at the age of 12 left a deep scar, and how losing his grandmother, who had been instrumental in raising him, and other family members in a short period of time in his 20s made him turn to coke to reduce his anxiety and pain. By the time he was in his 30s, Odom says he “just wanted to get high all the time. That’s it, just get high. And things got dark as hell.”
“Nah, I wasn’t blind to it. Shame … pain, he said, “It’s part of the whole cycle. My brain was broken. As the years went on, and I got into my 30s, my career was winding down, and things just got out of control.”
Odom’s now infamous 2015 stay at the Love Ranch, a brothel in Las Vegas, sent the ex-NBA player into a four day coma as a result of a near-fatal overdose.
In late 2016, Odom entered rehab in California, where he says he learned about addiction and that it was a brain disease.
“In rehab you learn to submit to everything,” he said. “I’ve always been a really anxious person. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. But I’m learning to release everything. Or at least I’m trying to learn.”
The former basketball star understands that addiction is not a curable disease, in fact, he admits he struggles with it on a daily basis.
He is grateful for what he still has, especially his two teenage children, and he is humbled by the memories of those he has lost.
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