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Friday, December 20, 2019

Lamar Odom's Journey From DARKNESS TO LIGHT

by Cyrus Webb

So many of us have heard the name Lamar Odom and had our own thoughts about the man. Some automatically think sports. Others might go to his relationships. For some the first thing that comes to mind are the demons he has battled. Regardless of what comes to mind there is no doubt that in 2019 Lamar Odom has chosen to define himself on his own terms, accomplishing new goals (competing on the court, on Dancing with the Stars and now as an Entrepreneur), hitting new milestones and finding love long the way.

I’m not the sports guy in my circle, but everyone knows I’m a sucker for a great story. So when it was announced that Lamar Odom’s book DARKNESS TO LIGHT was being released I knew I had to read it and have a chat with him about it. Though I’m still working on the radio version of this chat to share with our listeners of Conversations LIVE this honest, no-holds barred conversation you’re about to read is Lamar Odom in his own words, telling his story and what he is going to do with the gift of today.

“I've had separation anxiety since my mother died, although back then I didn't know there was a name for it. I hated to be alone. The feeling that no one was around and that I'd been abandoned could easily trigger the pain of my mother's death. To this day, I find it ironic that when things get the darkest I choose to be alone. I retreat to where no one can find me.

“Big decisions intimidated me, and I tried to avoid them as best I could. There was a lot of pressure. People constantly in my ear and the fear of making the wrong decision. (This led to sometimes the wrong choices, reverting to old vices.) Regret seems to linger with me, and I didn't want to add to the existing pile of woes.

“I had been obsessed with sex as long as I can remember. I love to touch women, and I need to feel close to women and feel their skin on mine. To touch a woman is to feel safe. The physical contact is something that I need. It doesn't even have to always be sex. If it's spooning on the bed, it will satisfy me just the same. I just need the connection. I've been looking for my mother ever since she died. I looked for her in the women I took home. I use sex to fill the void to make me feel complete. I want to be loved, but I could never find love. I could be physically fulfilled, but I was always left emotionally empty. I needed women as an outlet and escape, but this does not come without problems.

“When you have a burgeoning drug habit surrounding yourself with enablers and habitual users is one thing, but rolling with people who have bigger narcotic appetites than yours is like hitting fast forward on your drug problem. I was a drug addict, plain and simple. I had arrived at this terrible, unwanted, inevitable conclusion almost on cruise control. It felt like destiny. I've been building the resume before I ever rolled my first joint or others have been rolling it for me.

My love affair with cocaine wasn't going to go away (on its own). You know how you meet a new girl and fall head over heels in love and can't seem to get enough of that person? That's what happened when I first did Coke. And when you first do it, you don't realize the power it has. As my cocaine use transformed from experimental to habitual, I hid it from my closest friends.

“My father physically abused my mother, (who was ) my only source of protection. She screamed and cried and struggled. I was helpless and felt like a coward, because I couldn't do a thing about it. It stripped me of any power before I knew what those things meant. I'd see my mom beaten. Then we'd go to sleep several feet from one another in our twin beds in the upstairs bedroom of my grandmother's house.

“These were things that I would never recover from. I still haven't to this day. I convinced myself that everything I was doing was my destiny, but I cringe when I heard Kathy Odom's voice in those moments of indecision and despair. ‘Lamar, you are your own light.’ She tells me ‘You are a light for all others.’

“Khloe introduced me to her family and even though I had seen KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS a few times, I was taken aback by how close knit they were. They would squabble and argue, but love always prevailed. I never had a strong family union, and as a 30 year old man it was something I still craved deeply. I've always wanted brothers and sisters and all of a sudden I had five, so many holes in my life were filled instantly. Being with Khloe made me feel like a part of the family that was valuable to me beyond words. Being a part of Khloe's life and getting to know each member of the Kardashians family is one of the things I'm proudest of in my life. It's right up there with winning a championship and having kids.”

As 2019 comes to a close Lamar proudly says he has found love, new opportunities and a new appreciation for life. “I am closer to God in this moment than I've ever been,” he says. When he nearly died and then opened his eyes for the first time in 48 hours afterwards he says he was coming “from the darkness to the light.” In that moment he thought: “This is the first day of the rest of my life. This is not the final portrait of Lamar. I'm not ready.”

As he says in his book DARKNESS TO LIGHT “I've learned so many lessons in this life. I fall down, I get up or God picks me up, or my kids do. We are born, we live and we die. I will keep breathing. I will keep loving, and I will believe today I will live.” What a great affirmation for us all.

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