How the Prism Awards Became a Lesson in Faith

April 27th, 2010 | Posted by Sherry Gaba in Addiction

About a month ago I had heard all about the Prism Awards. The Prism Awards recognizes Hollywood for its actors, television shows, and films in the media that depict mental health issues and addiction, plus tobacco, drug and alcohol use. This blog is not about all the winners, although there are plenty of blogs out there that will list them for you if you are interested and I have listed them at the bottom.

This blog is really more about the insanity I put myself through before going to the Star studded event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. There had been confusion as to where I would be sitting, what I would wear, would I go alone, and should I go at all. Those in my life who love and support me said, “Of course, you should go, Sherry. You have a book coming out that depicts Addiction and Recovery, “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Positive Recovery”, you were on Celebrity Rehab 2 and 3, and it will be a great experience.”

So I took the plunge deciding to go. I bought a ticket, had my hair and makeup done, and decided to go by myself. This wasn’t my first choice, but as it turned out, I headed down Benedict Canyon, getting there 30 minutes early, and decided to take that time to ground myself from the anxiety I was feeling. After all, although I work in the field of substance abuse and mental health, I have my own endless chatter of worries and concerns. My thoughts were I wouldn’t know anyone there, who would I talk to, and I am certainly no Jeff Bridges, but rather a Psychotherapist who works with addicts and alcoholics on a daily basis find their way. I gave myself a pep talk and headed towards the awards show.

As it happened, the evening was nothing like I expected. I was met by my publicist for my book, had twenty cameras flashing at me as I walked through the entrance, and had approximately 10 hosts with microphones ask me my thoughts about the Prism Awards. This was absolutely un-expected and I haven’t stopped smiling since. All of my worries were for naught, of course, and it turned out to be a wonderful evening.
I felt honored to be part of an event with others, who like myself, have had the privilege to depict substance abuse and mental health issues as they really are. There is no faking what the addicts and alcoholics go through on Celebrity Rehab during detox. It is a physically and emotionally painful experience on many levels, and I am just proud to be part of their process of renewal and growth.

Some stay clean and some don’t, but on that evening I had the honor of sitting next to Mackenzie Phillips, who is clean and sober, and in my opinion, is an excellent example of what recovery is all about. On the other side of me was Dr. Drew Pinsky who also truly cares about the people he treats on and off television. That evening taught me once again the opposite of fear is faith. Next time I have anticipatory anxiety, I will remember the 2010 Prism Awards.
And if you are still interested in knowing who the winners were they included: Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”, the film “The Soloist” and TV’s “Breaking Bad,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “How I met Your Mother” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach in Agoura, Ca. She specializes in addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, single parenting and divorce, facilitates a Women’s Recovery Group, works with adolescents, adults, and couples. She is the Psychotherapist on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1 and her book, “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” will be out in September for Recovery Month and is available now through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Her website is or she can be reached at

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