Jeremy Allen White, star of 'The Bear', and his estranged wife Addison Timlin are currently involved in the incredibly personal process of figuring out a custody agreement amidst their impending divorce. According to court documents obtained by Page Six, White’s ability to see his daughters hinges on his sobriety.
Jeremy Allen White has been court-ordered to complete daily alcohol testing to see his kids.
White and Timlin, both 32, married in 2019. They share daughters Ezer, 4, and Dolores, 2. They’ve agreed to joint physical and legal custody of their kids, as long as White passes the court-mandated sobriety tests he’s set to undergo. Allegedly, White will take a breathalyzer test five times a week, when his daughters are in his care. If alcohol is found in his system, he will retest after 15 minutes. If the second test is positive, he will lose custodial rights to his kids until the court determines what the next steps are.
It would be easy to shame White for having to undergo alcohol testing to have access to his kids. Yet shaming anyone for their struggles with substance abuse has never helped anyone heal. To do so overlooks a major factor in the court order: White agreed to be tested. He also agreed to attend biweekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and therapy, showing that he’s prioritizing his recovery.
The actor could have easily made a very different decision than to undergo sobriety testing to see his daughters. He could have weighed his options and decided drinking was more important. But he didn’t. He seems to have taken a hard look at his life and determined that what he values is his kids and his presence as their parent.
The fact that White agreed to alcohol testing means he’s prioritizing his family.
Yet not everyone appears to view the mandated testing as a brave move in a positive direction. A TikTok created by a woman named Daijah Bluu focused on the extreme amount of alcohol a person has to be drinking in order for courts to step in.
Bluu qualified her take by saying she’d worked as a case manager in a social work setting, interacting with the courts and probation officers. She also noted in the comments that she has an alcoholic father and acknowledged how “it’s definitely a whole family healing thing.” Her interpretation of White’s struggles seems to be based more on the nuances of her own family situation than anything else.
What holds true in any addict’s life is that recovery is a long, uneven, nonlinear road, and taking the first step down that road is so, so brave.
In 2022, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) redefined “recovery” as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”
SAMHSA notes two key elements of recovery from addiction, the first being that recovery is a highly individualized and personal process. What works for one person might not work for another. Treatment can be clinical, medical, peer-based, or even court-ordered.
The second aspect of recovery that SAMHSA acknowledges is that recovery is holistic. It’s not based on just one thing, and having the support of family members and other community members helps people commit to staying sober. SAMHSA reported that in 2021, 70 million adults identified as having substance abuse and/or mental health problems. 72.1% of those people, or 50.2 million people, consider themselves to be in recovery.
All of which is solely to say that White is not alone in his addiction or his sobriety journey. By getting sober, White is letting go of maladaptive coping skills that no longer serve him. Addiction is something that impacts entire families in very real ways. For him to agree to be tested is a tangible act of love for himself and for his children.
Jeremy Allen White deserves all the support he can get as he makes moves towards staying sober. He deserves grace while he works to change. Really, he deserves to be applauded for entering into such a terrifying yet ultimately liberating transition.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. Reach out 24/7 to SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you.
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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.
This article originally appeared on YourTango