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Jennifer Gimenez on Good Day LA talks “Sober House”



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Watch @JenniferGimenez on www.thestream.tv tonight at 6pm pst with Phil Varone on “The Master Debater”


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13.
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As she did last season, house manager Jennifer Gimenez is set to give us her weekly take on each episode of Sober House with Dr. Drew. Below, Jenn talks about the fifth episode of the show: Jennie and Kendra’s tension, the departure and return of Heidi Fleiss and her own blow-up with Seth.


Dr. Drew came in right as Tom and Mike were in the middle of their big blow-up. He couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

I know. That was like a godsend at that moment. I remember I was texting him, “Please come.” I think he finished Loveline early, and literally as the mayhem was happening he walks up the hill. It was not planned at all. He walked straight up – he wasn’t even miked at that point.

That must have been a relief for you.

Yes! At that moment I was taking care of Kendra and keeping Heidi away from Tom. Seriously, it couldn’t have been more perfect timing.

Kendra reacted really strongly to this tumult.

There were definitely triggers for her, and as you saw in Sex Rehab, she doesn’t take that kind of fighting well. I think she reverted back to her childhood issues and trauma. At that moment, it was kind of like triage: what do you do, who do you save? At that moment it was Kendra, because she wasn’t involved in anything so I felt like I needed to protect her. I felt protective of the situation, because she was an innocent bystander brought into the mayhem. I think a lot of people were at that point.

Because she tested positive for drugs, Heidi had to leave the sober house. Were you disappointed?

I mean, that’s standard. I was brokenhearted because it’s such a sad thing when we do use. For whatever reasons, we are in so much pain and we just can’t handle life, so I was really sad for her. I was actually relieved that she was willing to come back and try it over again, but I knew that her being there would create more mayhem. We’re powerless over this disease, but we didn’t have the tools to take care of her as well as the rest of the house. I was proud of her for having the courage to try this again, though.

What was going on at this point with the jobs these people were assigned? Ever since their first days, we haven’t seen them working.

They didn’t continue the jobs. It was unfortunate, too. Sometimes in sober houses they do continue their jobs because they have to. But because there was so much going on, there were a lot of things everyone was trying to cram in to get these people going in life and also to create the show. Not to take away from the work that they did, but it didn’t continue.

Mike apologized to you, called you “sweetheart,” vowed to discontinue the, “F*** you”s. Were you buying it?

No, and it’s unfortunate for me to say this but it was a constant thing with Mike. You didn’t see that the night before, he really, really attacked me. That threw everyone off, especially Tom. It’s really hard for everyone, especially me, to hear that. When Mike apologized, I was like, “OK, I’m going to give it one shot,” but it was really wearing on me emotionally and mentally. I think the whole situation was wearing on me.

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Yeah, at the end of the episode we saw you break down and heard a voiceover from Dr. Drew wondering how much longer you could manage this by yourself.

The group is so rough and so tough and so exhausting and I didn’t have any support. I didn’t have my circle of support. There were no free moments for me to make the calls to get comfort in my life and with my emotions. I didn’t have Dr. Sophy, I didn’t have anything except my texts or calls to Dr. Drew. It was me against eight. Sometimes I just wanted a hug. I just wish there were more tools that I had and that we had for a support team for me. My survival mechanisms were exhausted. I just kept trying and it felt like I was walking in and hitting my head into the same wall over and over in the same spot again. With Heidi going out and coming back, it was like starting all over again. Her disease was so alive — more than anyone else’s in the house at that moment. She wasn’t the same Heidi.

Did you ever beat yourself up over any of this? Did you ever feel like a failure?

I don’t know if I felt like I was failing — I just knew that I started shutting down. I don’t know if it’s about failing more so than it is waving a flag. More than anything I just wished I had my support team. If I was able to process my emotions and my feelings with somebody, then I would have more strength to keep going.

This episode finds tension brewing between Jennie and Kendra. Was that always there?

When they walked in the beginning of the season, they were tight. There was a good force going on there. And then you just saw it slowly disintegrating. That kind of happens when two people come from the same place. They came from the same show, Sex Rehab, they come from the same stuff in some way or another. I started seeing little specks of it. It really came to a head in the Jacuzzi, which happened the night after all the mayhem. We couldn’t have just one night of relaxation in warm water, you know? I remember just sitting in there thinking my muscles are trying to relax, and then they started and I was thinking, “How am I going to find the boundary here?” That’s when I was like, “Enough guys.” There was so much more going on than substance addition, and people were drawing from that. You had Mike’s mental issues, and you had the sex addition stuff. There were a lot of things going on. I felt like we were all walking on egg shells. I was at least. But we had to walk through the eggshells and stand ground.

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The Jennie/Kendra tension also pervades rock-climbing.

Yes. That was a activity to get everyone’s mind off of things. Here I was telling everyone, “Come on, let’s do it!” It was an awakening for me, just going through it, but in the back of my head, there was the Kendra/Jennie thing going on. I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know when it was going to happen and at least no one got hurt. There was no verbal abuse happening. They were shouting, but they did it, in a weird way, with respect, and that’s kind of the process. I let it happen, because what was I going to do? Try to stop something these people were feeling? Block them from their feelings? Kendra and Jennie both wanted to stay away from each other, there were boundaries set and that was great.

You had it out with Seth. Was it disappointing that it came to that?

One of the things that we’re asking is: do your chores. The trash was overflowing. Everyday I asked, “Please do your chores before you leave.” I was picking up after everyone, and then when stuff wasn’t done or when it was dirty, everyone would come to me instead of confronting each other like, “That’s not fair!” I was angry with Seth after asking him over and over again. I was begging him. I sounded like a broken record. He then threw a fit at me. It was sad, but I just went with it. In the end, it was like, at least Seth showed emotion. He has a lot of anger, and I realized that he wasn’t angry about me. The funny thing is that afterward, I ignored Seth and that’s the worst thing you can do to him. The next morning, he had coffee on my table. I told him that I had to be tough with him. The people who loved and helped me with my sobriety were really tough on me. They wanted me to get it. They were afraid of going to my funeral.


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13.
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Jennifer Gimenez: Back For ‘Sober’ Maternity


Jennifer Gimenez: Back For ‘Sober’ Maternity by Caleb Bacon
Jennifer Gimenez | Photo by David Jakie / used with permission


Back for the second season of VH1’s “Sober House With. Dr. Drew” is its matriarch, Jennifer Gimenez. Last year’s debut season, featuring Gimenez and a host of celebrities trying to clean up their act, was one of reality TV’s most dynamic in memory.

Somehow this season (VH1, Thursdays/tonight, 10 p.m.) makes its predecessor seem like the PG version.

This year’s cast combines recent graduates of the much more structured drug and alcohol program, “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” along with those from the inaugural season of “Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew.” Both were filmed at the Pasadena Recovery Center.

Some of the cast members are: Tom Sizemore, Heidi Fleiss, Dennis Rodman, Jennifer “Penny Flame” Ketcham, and Kari Ann Peniche. The results have been dynamic television full of punched-out cameramen, relapse, and no shortage of bleeped f-bombs.

Since LAist last visited Gimenez a year ago, the former covermodel has had quite the year. She’s continued to grow yet lost a hundred pounds, has a growing career, and is over four years sober from drugs and alcohol herself. LAist had a chance to chat with Jennifer about just that.

LAist: What was the difference between the first and second season of Sober House?

Jennifer Gimenez: This season they were all hardcore, street-smart addicts except Dennis Rodman. Last year you had more of a mixture. This year, they were a rough group. Who would have ever thought that I’d be saying I’d take eight Steven Adler’s over the season two group?

I am so grateful I did Sober House the second season. I’m also lucky I didn’t get hurt from this experience. It was a really rough group.

Did the first season prepare you for this one?

Season One taught me a lot. Coming into Season Two, I felt stronger about myself. I also learned to have more love and tolerance, and that I’m not here to be friends with these people. The season before, I was trying so hard to be make them like me.

People in my life, and especially people in the recovery community that I come from, don’t tip-toe around my sobriety. People call me out on my stuff: shut up, sit your ass down, and listen. I felt like, coming into this season, I needed to be the same way people were with me in my program. This disease is deadly, so I’m here to help other people.

What has the public reaction been to the show?

I’ve never been more blown away by the response of people. Yeah, there’s that three percent that’s always going to say some negative stuff, but I get thousands of positive emails and people come up to me and say “thank you for doing what you’re doing.”

Are there any misconceptions as to your role in recovery?

I definitely want to clear up that I do not work in recovery except for the show. You don’t have to work in recovery to run a sober house. Dr. Drew and the producers brought me in because of my recovery.

A lot of people come to me with their problems and they start opening up. I know sometimes we just need someone to listen, but I can’t give “doctor advice.” I’m not a doctor. I’m just a drunk helping another drunk.

Since Sober House Season One, you’ve lost 100 pounds….

After Season One, after being called a ‘fat’-every word possible, I started dropping weight. I went from going on the treadmill, to going to the nutritionist, to weight training. Last May, I was doing another job somewhere else and I started training with Jai Rodriguez from “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.”
He was like “hey girl, you need to lift weights.” I had this whole philosophy that my body was going to get big from gaining muscle. Instead, I feel great.

Did you have time to exercise on Sober House Two?

Yes. Dennis Rodman and I were training every day. By that point I had lost about 80 pounds. Since the show finished, I’ve lost that last 20. I’m now officially down 100 pounds. I went from a size 16 back down to a six.

What are your eating habits like these days?

For me, I had to divorce salt and not drink so many sodas. I don’t eat french fries. I eat wheat bread, lots of multi grains, and chicken, and chicken and chicken until it’s coming out of my ears.

What was it like when Kari Ann called you “fat” on Season Two?

It was so “last season.” When I came into the show, obviously I looked much more different than the first season and I was well-seasoned by Steven Adler and that whole group. It didn’t bother me, though, sure, I don’t want to be called on that on a normal basis in my life.

What was it like to live in the show’s Hollywood Hills mansion?

The house was unbelievable. I got to wake up to Downtown LA, and I’d look over to the left, and there was Griffith Park and the ocean straight ahead. It was really beautiful. However, there was many, many stairs. I’d be running up and down them all day long. I was pretty exhausted just from going up the stairs.

Who would win in an arm-wrestling match: Dr. Drew or Barack Obama?

Dr Drew by far. Did you see those arms? Every now and then he’ll wear a t-shirt and you’ll be like “what?”

What’s coming up for you?

Sober House One was nominated for a PRISM Award. Dr. Drew and I will be there presenting at the end of the month. Work-wise, there’s a lot of things in the mix right now that I’m not allowed to talk about because nothing’s finalized. I’m getting back into acting and hosting. I hope a vacation in the near future.

Follow Caleb Bacon on Twitter @thecalebbacon.


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Apr
07.

Sober House 2 with Dr. Drew: Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Gimenez

Posted on 04/06/2010 by Jackie in Sober House


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Jennifer Gimenez and Dr. Drew

 

By Jackie Helm

 

Jennifer Gimenez spoke exclusively with RealityWanted.com about being House Manager on Vh1’s Sober House 2.  Jenn’s experience as an actress, model and former addict allow her to directly relate to the Sober House residents.  Jenn is a sweet but strong leader in the recovery process for her peers and despite the headache and the pain, she’d do it all over again.

 

Q. Jackie, RealityWanted: You have quite the trying task as House Manager at the Sober House.  Can you start by clarifying your role?

A.  Jenn: In Sober Living, people who are recovering addicts and alcoholics will come in and run a house.  The people who run those houses get free rent to stay at the sober living house.  My experience was that Dr. Drew and the producers brought me in because of my recovery; not because I work in recovery.  There is a difference.  I relate to them on a different level.  I am not part of the treatment facility team.  On Celebrity Rehab, Dr. Drew has a team.  On Sober House, I run the house.  I enforce the rules and I give them the tools to live during their transition into the real world.  Am I the boss?  Yes.  I have the ability to kick people out if I needed to.  However, for the show, I talk with Dr. Drew about to do.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  Your position definitely has its share of drama and stress.  Let’s take, Dennis Rodman for example.  Isn’t it irritating to experience constant rebellion and attitude from adults?

A.  Jenn: I think it was like that with every one of the resident’s in the house.  With Dennis Rodman, I knew coming in that he is a game player.  He is a 5 time NBA championship winning game player.  He’s been trained to play his whole life.  He came in with a game attitude.  He wants to see how far he can push the buttons.  I am also dealing with someone who is an alcoholic.  Dennis Rodman was game strategy plus the alcoholic in him.  I pretty much had to gain my respect with him and everyone in the house.  We are talking about hard core drug addicts and alcoholics.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted: I understand that but after three weeks of rehab and now almost two weeks of the Sober House, is his behavior game play or the real affects of alcoholism?

A.  Jenn: I think it’s both, actually.  After the night that Dennis went out and came home late, he didn’t want to write and didn’t want to give me his phone.  Finally, he gave me his phone and he wrote.  He gave me respect and I didn’t have problems with Dennis after that.  The respect part came from his best ability at that time. But then the alcoholism would kick in and it’s a disease.  The disease is really strong in that house with everyone.  I think the disease had a bigger part of them than they had over the disease.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted: The friction between Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss is unfortunate and rather unnecessary.  Who do you say is to blame?
A.  Jenn: I wasn’t there when everything took place when they were dating.  But I definitely think there is a lot of unnecessary arguments and explosions with the two of them.  Obviously they are both hurt.  I don’t know who was right or wrong and I can’t have judgment on that.  I was just there to enforce that they couldn’t fight and that they shouldn’t fight and that they should keep themselves separated.  I felt like I was a referee a lot of times.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted: Even Dr. Drew tends to sugar coat what he says to Heidi, why doesn’t anyone seem to want to tell it to her straight?  When Heidi brought Tom sushi, she was obviously trying to grind his gears.

A.  Jenn: I was told to keep the house calm because there was a lot going on at that exact same time.  When she came down, I was caught off guard.  And she did go and antagonize him a little bit and he exploded.  I would say “knock it off” to both of them.  What they did in group was between them, the group and Dr. Drew.  There is a lot that viewers don’t see due to only having 47 minutes of show time.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  When Heidi tested positive for amphetamines, opiates and benzos, can you tell us in street terms what she was high on?

A.  Jenn:  She was high on meth.  I don’t know exactly what pills she had taken.  Opiates are usually Oxycontin, Vicodin, heroin…but I am not saying that she was on heroin because I don’t think she was.  Benzo’s are pills like Ambiens and Adavan.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted: When Tom was freaking out over his phone, he mentioned wanting his phone to call his girlfriend.  Was he referring to Monroe who entered rehab at the Pasadena Recovery Center with him?  We all want to know if she succeeded in sobriety as well.

A.  Jenn: Yes, that was Monroe.  I was in awe.  I wondered if I should duck because he was going to try to throw a vase at me.  Ten minutes before that he had just finished reading about how his recovery came first.  Tom has a very explosive side to him.  The Tom that I know (from being in treatment with him years ago) is really sweet guy inside.  But as Bob Forrest said, the disease has a big power over Tom.  It’s not just the drugs, it the disease.  That is what a lot of us suffer from.  Once the drugs and alcohol are taken away from us, we are stuck with “us”.  There are a lot of issues in us.  There is a lot of work that Tom needs to do to get better.  I know that Monroe visited Tom at the Sober House, but I don’t know if she is still sober.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  Everyone says that Mike Starr is a sweet guy too.  He also seems to struggle from a similar split personality.

A.  Jenn: Mike Starr was my biggest problem at the Sober House.  Mike was nice of seven minutes out of the day.  The rest of the day it was non-stop, “I hate you Jenn, I am going to kill you Jenn”.  Then two seconds later he would say, “I am sorry Jenn”.  I think there is more going on there that I wasn’t warned or told about.  I think Mike had a lot of psychological stuff going on.  Mike was a very tiring person to have around.  I would have to beg and plead and then get angry with Mike and finally that would work.  I was constantly trying to smooth things over with Mike.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted: That must have been hard to deal with.

A.  Jenn: It was a very grueling and exhausting process.  I felt like I didn’t have the time for Mike.  I think it would help if Mike had somebody one on one with him all the time.  There were times that he was very sweet.  But I am also the authority figure and people don’t like that, especially alcoholics and addicts. They don’t like being told what to do and say.  But because they are in a sober living house, I am trying to give them tools to transition into the real world.  If they go back in the world they way they are now, they are pretty much doomed.  I had to change my way of being when I was in recovery.  They say you need to change one thing and that is everything.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  Do you think there is hope for Mike?

A.  Jenn: I do, I believe in miracles.  I think there is hope for everyone.  Mike has a lot of work a head of him.  Some of us have to do that work.  I will go to any lengths to stay sober.  I wasn’t so responsive to that in the beginning.  But today my life is completely different because I followed directions.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  With so much focus on residents like Mike, Tom and Heidi – how are the less dramatic resident’s doing in their recovery such as Seth, Jenni and Kendra?

A.  Jenn:  I’ve talked with Seth, Jenni and Kendra and they are doing great.  Jenni has been sober for about a year.  She literally is the reward for what I do.  A lot of times on the show, I ask myself, “Why am I doing this”?  But then you see someone like Jenni, who is really active in her recovery and has done a 180 and she’s a miracle.  Kendra is doing a really great job, she’s a sweet girl.  I am really happy to see that she is doing well.  Seth is great.  I’ve known Seth for 10 years and I know his wife, kids and family.  We have a lot of history and it was hard to have him come back to the show.  He knew how to get to me.  He will do his little “Seth-ism’s”.  This time I was like, “I am not going to play your games because I don’t want to go to your funeral”.  This time I had to be a lot stronger.

You will see on the next show that Seth looses it on me.  I was asking him to take the trash out.  The only thing they have to do in the Sober House is to not break curfew, clean your room and do the chores we ask.  We don’t ask them to paint the house and clean the windows.  But we get lazy when we get out there and most people don’t want to leave the house when they are using or drinking.  I felt like I was playing mom most of the time.  But Seth is doing in great.  I am really proud to say that those three are doing really good.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  After Kari Ann Peniche’s final departure, do you know if she sought help elsewhere?

A.  Jenn: I do not know and I do hope that she gets help somewhere.

 

Q.  Jackie, RealityWanted:  Well I give you a lot of props for what you do for the people in Sober House.  Do you ever feel like you are getting more than you bargained for?  Would you even consider taking on a Sober House 3?

A.  Jenn: After the first Sober House, I thought, “Hell no, I’m done, it’s over forever”.  When I was done and was able to decompress from the process, I thought, “I could do that again”.  So when Sober House 2 came along, I was like “Sure”!  It’s worth it because of the rewards that come from it.  When people say that their life was saved because of this process, or when a mother compare themselves to what I was going through, when people say that the show gave them hope…yes I would do it again.  It sounds crazy, but yes I would do it again.  It’s funny because, I do not work in recovery and I don’t have the doctors’ certificate, but that is not what this is about.  When it comes to alcoholics and drug addicts, I am just one alcoholic talking another.  That is what the Sober House is.  That is what I’ve been taught in this whole thing.  You give what you’ve got freely back to someone else.  That is why I do this!

 

 

Catch Sober House on Vh1 Thursdays at 9pm CST

(Photos courtesy of VH1.com)

 


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Apr
06.
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PHIL VARONE  posted photos of us from the “TODAY SHOW” on facebook today…he is actually a very funny guy…

i feel like there is so much to say but yet again im exhausted… i feel like im goin to collapse from exhaustion soon… God please help me, im tired so im goin to make this short…i did 2hrs at the gym… but due to being in my car working on the phone i wasnt able to workout wit DARLENE…she is goin to break me tomorrow..i have this feeling but i did work out lifted weights ,ran and did the cross trainer… ive burned over 3000 cals taken 16500 steps and have done over 4 hrs of activity…i even cooked which was a big deal for me… ya i steamed brown rice and opened 2 cans of tuna and cracked open hard boiled eggs… haaa…i mad tuna casarole… i love that , i use to eat that as a kid…mickey was a little extra needed ,which honestly i love…. i just love my mickey even while i pick up his poopoo and as he goes i cheer him on…he is an amazing love in my life…wow if i could be half the woman mickey thinks i am on a daily basis id rule my universe…i have to get up in a few hours im to do a phone interview in the wee hours of the morning then one at 10 am then gym then off to la for meetings and interviews im shooting another magazine but ill keep u posted later…Dr.Drew and i  are presenting at the PRISM awards in a few weeks and the first SOBERHOUSE is nominated which is awesome…im also hosting a few events…. now i must say nite nite i have to go clean my toilets… i have a thing about cleans sinks,toilets and floors , actually im a freak over it… i love tilex and bleach too… TOM hates it…oh salt i miss u where r u ….mrs.dash(blah) i know were ur at i dont like u yet….



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Apr
05.
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thank u guys for ur support… i do read my comments…and i do appreciate the support… it is mind blowing to me how there are such kind and gentle souls out there…u know just day to day for all of us isnt always pleasant, but when i read the comments and emails from u guys it fills me with joy…

on thursday evening i got the call that i was doing “THE TODAY SHOW” in New York  on Saturday morning so i was leaving in the am (Friday)… i was excited and nervous at the same time… i was at the gym about to train when i got the call…my life these days is pretty much on hold although i am super busy w , well my life… i continue to schedule and plan my days as if , but i am allowing God to direct me…so on friday ,off i went to New York… i ended up meeting PHIL VARONE from SEX REHAB WITH DR.DREW at the airport.. i was sitting at my gate and i heard this guy behind me talking to some other guy(PHIL) and he was talking about the shows ,so i turned around and saw PHIL and said “hi im jenn” we were both caught off guard but i have to say what a lovely man PHIL VARONE is …. we got to New York and talked ,walked in the city and ate pizza… he was a delight…i ended sleeping 2 hrs cuz i was still catching up w emails and stuff… so we did a segment on “THE TODAY  SHOW’  and it was fun but i was soooo tired… as soon as i was done i jumped in a town car and off i went back to the airport…i actually havent stopped in a long time…when i got home “MY TOMMY” was there to love me back to health…im so lucky to have a loving man support me and he put me to bed i shut my phone off for 24hrs and slept for 17 needed hours… when i woke up today TOM and i went to church w my mama and little brother(who is so much taller than me) then we went to my mamas house and ate an amazing lunch and had great conversation… TOM laughs at how my little brother and i are so brother and sister… its funny we so resort to childish behavior… i love my family to death…we came home and i was just trying to catch up w life….i turned my phone back on ,it was weird to not have my phone on but kinda awesome at the same time…so i was full from eating a lot and actually last few days kinda bad so i went to the gym and did cardio for an hour, came home walked mickey and then water the front yard …when i got in TOM said to me “babe its suppose to rain tonight” …. “huh” i replied… what was i thinking but i haven’t heard the news and really didn’t know… what a dork i am…. tomorrow i have phone interviews for magazines and internet sites then gym and so on…. i hope u all had a wonderful EASTER… again i adore u and thank u for being in my life …. i start my intense training , eating and calorie target all over again tomorrow … i did reach over 3000 calories today and over 17000 steps so that pretty good but i ate poorly… i do start with the “BOSS  DARLENE” tomorrow …I HAVE NOT BEEN AS DEDICATED AS I WAS A FEW WEEKS BACK WITH THE EATING AND MY CHOICES OF BEING HEALTHY…ONE OF THE GIFTS OF LIFE I HAVE IS CHOICE…SO I CHOOSE TO DO AND BE BETTER…one day at a time….




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Apr
05.




jenn_s2e4

As she did last season, house manager Jennifer Gimenez is set to give us her weekly take on each episode of Sober House with Dr. Drew. Below, Jenn talks about the fourth episode of the show, which chronicled what she refers to as “one of the craziest nights of my existence…”


One thing we didn’t go over regarding last week’s episode was a stray shot of Tom Sizemore with what looked like tubing tied around his arm in his apartment. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but then I saw that so many people noticed that online.

Everybody asked me about that. That was kind of weird. I actually rewound it a couple times. When he returned, honestly he tested negative and I retested him the next day, as well. Also, there were no track marks on him. When they run off and throw tantrums and then come back, you really kind of want to assess them, and look at them and look at their arms and their nose and, you know, smell their breath and all that stuff, and he passed. That made it extra weird, but I don’t know. I wasn’t there.

The first thing that happens on this episode is that everyone shares their essays. Many of them, like Mike and Dennis did not take this assignment seriously.

When they were reading them, I was biting my tongue, trying not laugh. At the end of the day, I can’t tell them what to do, I can’t force them. At this point, I got Dennis to give me his phone and to actually write the essay and follow direction. It was like, “Wo,  I think I’ve earned some respect here…to the best of his ability…for that moment.” At least he was willing to do some work even if it was just, “Why” 150 times…

essay_s2e4

And getting Mike to do anything was a miracle. He’s constantly saying he’s sick and saying his arm hurts, that’s why he can’t write. Then he saw everyone else was doing it, and that’s the thing with Mike. I think that he heard Kari Ann punched the camera guy, so he thought he could get away with hitting one. He follows everyone else in the house. As for Tom, he wrote this thing saying how his recovery came first, and soon after, he decided to throw a fit. It’s like, two seconds later, he’s trying to throw a vase at me. It shows just how explosive Tom is all the time. Here you start seeing how crazy Tom really is.

So he was telling you that he’s done with the show and that you have to give him his phone back. You knew this was just a ploy, right?

Yes. He said he was going to call the cops, but he handed over the phone to me. Also, there was a house phone literally in that living room area that we could all use. He could have asked me to use my phone. Tom wanted it his way and if he doesn’t get it his way he explodes. I’m going to get angry over that.

He left and came back. No surprise there, right?

No. It wasn’t like this was the first time he had left, either. Plus, I know how is Tom from being in treatment with him. I knew how explosive he is. He’s not going to scare me any more than anyone else in that house at that point. What was he going to? I think he wanted me to get crazy.

Here’s something that was a surprise: Mike went out on a search for “Thai food,” and ended up coming back to the house clean.

He was lucky that he didn’t get his “Thai food.” That’s a big thing that a lot of addicts have: they have code words for drugs and it was really sad to see that he was willing to go to any lengths to try to get them. He came back and was very aggressive. But the thing is that Mike was constantly in my face telling me he hated me, he was going to kill me, he was going to do this and that. So Mike being aggressive wasn’t exactly out of character. Then he came back, fighting us about taking the test, shutting the door in Will’s face. He did ultimately test negative, which was such a relief at the moment because there was so much insanity going on. Heidi had just come back from Nevada and was like, “Oh, I can’t pee yet,” and I knew something was wrong. There was so much tension in the house. It was a full moon that night and everything just started exploding at 7 or 8 and didn’t stop. I swear to you, I don’t know how that night turned out OK. I don’t know how no one got hurt that night. It was so crazy. At that moment, I was in survival mode.

Speaking of Heidi, there was more drama between her and Tom.

They were antagonizing each other constantly and it was maddening at that moment. They are both fighting and they are both yelling that they are going to leave. They were throwing tantrums while everyone upstairs was freaking out. I was playing ref.

And then, of course, Heidi did test positive. Did you think it was strange that she was smiling when you informed her you found amphetamines, opiates and benzos in her pee?

That smile was maybe her defense mechanism of how she was kind of bummed out that she did that. Her disease got the best of her. It was either a smile of embarrassment, like, “What am I supposed to do? I f***ed up,” or, at that point, the disease was really in Heidi. The disease took over. Really, when she got into it with Tom last episosde, I saw Heidi’s hope in recovery just diminish. And it’s really hard to get that back.

And the thing that just obliterates movie night is the fight that Tom and Mike have.

Tom was saying that he was tired of hearing Mike treat me like s***. I mean, everybody was. What you guys don’t see is how Mike treated me like s*** the whole entire time. There were maybe five minutes out of that day that he didn’t go off on me. And it’s kind of hard to be around that all the time. But also they were just trying to get better, and Tom just lost it. He literally was so angry that I think he deflected the anger that was coming between him and Heidi onto Mike. There was also some animosity between Mike and Tom. Tom would make side remarks like, “God, he’s getting on my nerves.” I told him to pay attention to himself, and obviously in this case he didn’t. That really was one of the craziest nights of my existence. And it was madness every single day. I feel at that moment it was no longer the Sober House, it was the recovery house. There were so many other things that people were recovering from, and so many things were going on, and so many more internal things and emotional things and issues that were being brought to the forefront. I’ve never seen so much unrelenting chaos in a house.

Did you start to feel like you were going crazy?

Yeah. I broke down that night, alone. If I lost it in front of the group, then they all would have lost it. They were literally all looking at me, staring. There were no words being said by anybody, so I had to just say calm and be like, “You’re gonna be fine.” I don’t know if Mother Teresa would have been able to keep her sanity that night




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Apr
01.
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I will be hosting Loveline with Dr.Drew tonight check your local listings or go to www.lovelineshow.com for live streaming…….

XOXOXOX Jenn


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