Lamar Odom’s Drug Problems Are Not For Khloe Kardashian To Fix

Following Lamar Odom’s near brush with death (fingers crossed, as he’s not out of the woods yet) has resulted in various accusations that his “downward spiral” is the fault of ex-wife Khloe Kardashian. Rollingout questioned: Were The Kardashians responsible For Odom Lamar’s Breakdown? In a piece published by TMZ, “sources” claimed he NBA star was just fine until he received a call about an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and supposedly became upset by the way he was portrayed. In the episode in question, Khloe received two calls from Lamar — one that led sister Kim to accuse her of being flirty with her ex, and a second call in which Odom revealed his best friend had died. That news roused concerns Khloe’s concerns that Lamar might lose it. In another scene, Khloe fled a party after finding out Odom was trying to get in.

While its true that these recent glimpes into Odom’s mental state indicated he was still troubled,  it is also impossible to blame that depiction for his drug overdose. The Kardashians may live a very public life, thanks to the popularity of their reality show, but much is still edited and left out, including the details of Odom’s past mental health and addiction issues (of which he has had many), though they have been alluded to at times on the show. But the fact remains that the former basketball star’s life was riddled with hardship long before the name Kardashian was even popularized.

Odom came from a broken household — his mother died when he was 12 and his father was a recovering addict. He also publicly battled with both drugs and alcohol before he married Khloe Kardashian. So why, precisely, would a single woman be the reason for his downward spiral? And why should she be tasked with the responsibility of singlehandedly helping him? Lamar Odom has long needed a professional, not a girlfriend or wife, to give him the tools and strength to overcome his personal problems.

Women are not responsible for saving men with mental health problems. I repeat: Women are not responsible for saving men with mental health problems.

I restated the message not only to reinforce it to others, but to reassure myself, because for a long time, I stayed in a relationship with a man with mental health issues who I felt it was my duty to save. I was 19 and it was my first real adult relationship. My boyfriend abused prescription pills and eventually started heavily drinking, which only made matters worse. He was running from his past and used substances to avoid dealing with his feelings. With every drinking binge, the same scenario played out over and over again. I threatened to leave him unless he stopped, but they were nothing but empty threats.

“I need you,” he would respond. “I need you to help me.”

Somehow, I always felt responsible and guilty. Like it was my duty to be there for him. That staying was what a good girlfriend should do. So I could only imagine how hard it would be for any woman — even Khloe Kardashian — to watch her husband go through a similar struggle.

To further complicate matters, even though I was trying to be helpful, I made tons of choices that may not have had the desired positive impact on my then-boyfriend. From being overly critical to inadvertently enabling, I’m sure my “helpful” behavior may have even made things worse at times.

“You can stop anytime, you know,” I would tell him when he started to drink too much. He would shrug his shoulders and continue to drink with a defeated look on his face. Only years later did I learn that alcohol addiction is more than just something a person “can stop anytime.” And by diminishing that struggle, I may have been even further destroying his self-esteem.

Eventually, I learned that I was not responsible for the mental health of my partner. I left him. Last I heard, he was going to therapy. Because relationships are imperfect, and we are often imperfect in relationships, we should acknowledge the reality that sometimes our partners need more than just our love and support to overcome their hardships.

This goes for celebrities and normal folk alike. No one should be busy questioning if Khloe Kardashian is responsible for Lamar Odom’s downward spiral. Instead, the question should be when and how he will get the help he needs — from professionals and doctors — to be both mentally and physically healthy.