The Movie The Fighter: Complicatedness, Addiction & Codependency

This 2010 movie is based on a true story. Mickey Ward is a boxer who has been losing when he allows his management to be left in the hands of his drug addicted brother & controlling mother. The Fighter, Addiction, Codependency, Authentic

It’s actually depressing to see his 7 adult sisters lined up on the couch, having never left to define life on their own terms. They are like a giant potato sack race masquerading as a supportive family. Melissa Leo deserved the Oscar she earned playing the mother who clearly adores her sons more than her daughters.

Often it is the fresh voice of an outsider that helps someone recognize how their kooky family may be holding them back instead of helping. Mickey falls in love with Charlene who helps him get some distance from his family.

There is a reason the incest taboo is so pervasive in a majority of cultures. Kids have to leave home for sex.

Leaving home and family to determine who you are, different from them is an important rite of passage. Then you come back to the fold and can appreciate both sides of who they are. Love is really all about, wanting to become a better person.

Mickey’s brother goes to prison and stops doing drugs. He gets out and is able to have an honest conversation with Charlene. He is important to Mickey winning and he knows he has to stay straight to do that well.

My favorite part of this movie is the respect for the complicatedness which keeps the story authentic. Dickie is a complete waste and yet, he figures out how to step up for his brother. Addicts all have both sides to them. Never underestimate the ugliness of the disease of addiction or the power of recovery.

Mickey needs to interrupt the mushy codependence of his family and figure out how to live with his own choices. It’s also crucial for his success that he not just leave them in the dust. The secret to life is the middle ground, rarely either/or solutions.

Christian Bale plays the junkie brother to perfection. He redeems himself and stays straight in order to help his brother. All people who have achieved recovery have accomplished miracles and deserve tremendous respect for enduring that battle every day.


5 thoughts on “The Movie The Fighter: Complicatedness, Addiction & Codependency

  1. Melody J Haislip says:

    I agree with every word, and I think Amy Adams was Wonderful as Charlene. She is one of my favorite actors, and I believe she can do anything she sets her mind to. She can do frothy or she can do tough. She’s believable either way.

  2. Mucio says:

    Having a history with addiction and now recovery, this movie is a good one to remind me of the struggle it is to get out of the loop of using and what it does to your soul and aspirations. My family also has a lot of codependency and I was part of that even in recovery. Fear of leaving family and finding my own life, this is a good reminder to find that balance. I struggle with either/or and having gone through these changes recently within the past two years, I am getting closer to becoming more balanced with my family and finding heathy boundaries.

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