Jennifer Gimenez’s Sober House commentary continues! Below, the house mother talks about allowing Seth back into the house, her reservations regarding Mary’s gig at Swingfest, her own one-woman show and what it was like, as a recovering cocaine addict, to be given crack rock to hold in her hand.
How did you feel about Seth reentering the house?
When I knew he was coming back I was like, “Let’s see how it goes.” I really believe that when somebody relapses, it’s not just that person that relapses. I was really affected. I think the whole house was, really. You saw them crying, and worrying, and scared, and fearful and then it ended up feeling like a game and I was angry that a) I got caught up, b) that everyone else got caught up, and c) I felt like he didn’t take it seriously. When Seth came back, he acted like it was cool: “Oh no everything fine. I’m not gonna do it again.” I was scared for him. I still am scared for him.
Were you as concerned about Seth coming back as you were when Steven did?
When you saw Steven come back, he was more than willing to come back. He was very apologetic. I just felt like that Seth wasn’t. I don’t know if he saw the severity of it. Everyone has their own way of relapsing and everyone is different. Bottom line: they’re hurting. I’m so fond of everyone on the show and to care so much and not have that person reciprocating and going to any lengths to get better, it really freaks me out. I was really scared ’cause this happened toward the end of the stay at the Sober House for Seth. My fear for him was: what’s going to happen when he leaves Sober House? He has maybe a few more days left and then what? When your time is done at Sober House, how did you benefit from that experience? How did you grow and learn and set boundaries and have that resonate in your brain, in your mind, in your body, in your soul, in your spirit, in every breath you take? What is Seth’s next move? How far is far for him? Is death far enough? Is becoming a vegetable far enough? What is that place? We gave him all the ability, and the tools, at that point to take the fork in the road, what path do you want, left or the right? Time will tell.
Mary gets invited to host Swingfest. What were you thinking about that? It just seems like the worst possible thing she could do.
I can’t stop someone from making a living, but I can definitely give them my opinion. I can tell her I know it’s not the Swingfest that per se gets her in trouble, it’s how she feels about those situations and the jobs she has taken. Does it make her feel uncomfortable? Does it belittle her? Does it belittle anybody? Has swinging on a pole, doing porn, doing Swingfest affected her? Yes. Its not like I’m just assuming this, I mean we’ve been watching it since the first season of Celebrity Rehab. She says she doesn’t want to do porn again, that she doesn’t want to do the adult world anymore. She’s says she is a “former” star in the adult world.
I feel that right now is a crucial time for her to just stay put to get some foundation before she goes and chooses whatever direction she wants to go in, in her profession, in her personal life, in her professional life, in her any kind of life. I really believe it because of my experience. Over and over, through the last 10 years I’ve done it both ways. I’ve gone back to my jobs, back to what I needed to make money in, and then I’ve also had to sit the f*** down and get through recovery.
Though it was a crucial time for Mary at that point, I know the money was really good and I know her responsibilities with her mother are really important. So I told her that if she did decide to do Swingfest – and she did – that she should take somebody that would guide her to the right way and support her. A mentor, a sober companion. I still don’t go to certain parties without somebody who I know has my back. I went to the Oscar stuff this week. I had somebody everyday with me, sober.
You really got extremely angry at Seth during paintball. Where was that anger coming from?
I had never Paintballed before. None of us had. There were a lot of emotions built up at this point. It doesn’t matter the length of time you’ve been sober. If you get pushed enough in life, at some point you’re going to react. At that point, I was coming off a six-day run with Seth. He comes up and shoots me a few times in the leg, and it really hurt. I went into a panic mode and then I got angry. Like, “Why would you do that?” I’m sure he thought he was being funny, but it hurt. I know it doesn’t come off super cool or super put-together, but everyone has a breaking point.
It seems like another one could have been when Seth came to you with crack. What was it like dealing with that?
I don’t know where Seth kept his drugs. I don’t know how he got that. But Seth came to me and gave it to me. Immediately. I don’t do crack, but I was a cocaine addict. The scene kind of shows my weakness. Ultimately, he did the right thing by giving it to me. That’s what we do: we tell on ourselves in recovery. He came to the person he knew that had the most time, and I think it was a really great thing that he did.
You sit down with Dr. Sophy and he suggests that you return to acting. Where are you with that?
In real life, sober living managers live their lives. They go to work. They check everything regarding with the house when they’re done with their day. I’m an actress. I was a model. When Andy came in, he really focused on my creativity. Dr. Sophy agreed – he told me, “It’s time for the next phase in your recovery.” He told me to stop hiding behind recovery and pursue my dreams. He thought that doing a one-woman show and telling my story would be a great way of testing to see if acting is really what I want to do. Recovery was my foundation and I worked hard for that foundation. But I need to live my life.
Did you end up performing?
Yep. I put together a 40-minute one-woman show in two days, directed by Andy. He said it would normally take three months to do it. You know when you know that you know? That’s what it felt like for me. I touched on my deep issues. We all in life have a story to tell. I finally felt worthy of telling my story.
Check out what Dr. Drew had to say about this week’s episode here.