The Sober Army is Getting Larger By the Day!
More and more folks are enlisting in the sober army. Many, many more. In fact, you could say the legion is expanding by legions. Much of that legion consists of bold-face names — well, much of the most reported anyway. But the enlistees go far beyond celebrities.
Celebrities do make for good recruiters though. Darn good. That’s why their sobriety is so widely covered. It’s also why it’s so widely read. Besides, who doesn’t wanna learn that their favorite celeb is doing double-plus good for themselves? Nobody, that’s who.
Celebs doin’ good is obviously why everyone from ESPN (The New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia) to The Cut (Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Braunwyn Windham-Burke) continues to get in on the action. And those are just two of the most recent.
Of course we also dig it when celebs find sobriety. More than a little. Heck, just check our post history. There you’ll find everyone from alt throwback pioneers (The Lumineers) to Oscar-winning legends (Anthony Hopkins). And the sober celebrity onslaught isn’t limited to Healing Properties either. We’ve also dropped the bold-faced names at Recovery Boot Camp and the Schnellenberger Family Foundation. Lots.
So for this Good News Friday we’ve decided to highlight some of the many splendid members of the ever-expanding sober army. Hopefully this will inspire others to join up as well.
Can a song actually end addiction? That was the question we asked when saluting The Lumineers. Why? Because that seemed to be one of the questions the band asked with the release of the addiction-riddled III (Dualtone Records). It also seems to be the question they asked when partnering with the Partnership to End Addiction for the Start with Connection campaign.
Of course, an end to addiction would also mean an end to beautifully poignant longform sets of song such as that which comprises III. Then again, it’s highly unlikely the Lumineers would mind such an absence. Especially since the song cycle is informed by the loss of someone very close to the band. It’s a cinch that the Partnership also wouldn’t very much mind an end to addiction, despite it being their reason for being. And you know what? We wouldn’t mind either. Not one cotton-picking bit.
In Anthony Hopkins’ Inspiring Sobriety we took a look at the legendary actor’s incredibly solid sober life. So solid, in fact, that it’s lasted a staggering 45 years! That’s right. Sir Anthony has been sober for nearly half a century. And this is what he Tweeted on his 45th ReBirthday:
“It’s been a tough year, full of grief and sadness for many, many, many people,” he said. “But 45 years ago today I had a wake-up call. I was heading for disaster. I was drinking myself to death. And I got a message, a little thought, that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?’ Well, I said I wanted to live. And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing.”
You go, Good Sir!
Famed college and pro football Coach Howard Schnellenberger (whose career is far too distinguished to cover between parenthesis) knows a thing or two about addiction. Then again, with two sons suffering from the disease it’d be impossible to not know. Coach has put that knowledge to work too, in word and in deed. Here he shares a few good words of wisdom, as well as the reason why he and his wife Beverlee backed son Tim with the Schnellenberger Family Foundation.
Coach Schnellenberger’s Advice on Addiction:
- An addict’s chances at long-term recovery are proportional to the family’s investment in their own mental healing.
- Accept that there will be conflict during the process.
- Know the difference between enabling and loving.
- Understand that it’s neither your fault nor the addict’s fault that he/she is addicted to drugs/alcohol.
- Forgiveness is tough. Of and for everyone involved.
Tim heeds his father’s advice each and every day, with the family’s Foundation, as well as with Healing Properties sober home. And he’s been heeding that advice since the sober home opened in 2002. Nevertheless, we’ll give dad the last word.
“At the end of the day, Beverlee and I are just a proud mom and dad wanting to be a part of something bigger,” said Coach Schnellenberger. “That is why, with the help of our son, Timothy, we have started the Schnellenberger Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that financially and emotionally provides for the families of those individuals in drug and alcohol treatment.”
The former Saturday Night Live scene-stealer Chris Kattan was popped for DUI in 2014 and officially came clean back in 2019. In fact, he told all about it in the rollicking Baby, Don’t Hurt Me: Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live (BenBella Books). Kattan told all about other things as well. Like the fact that he was raised on a Zen retreat outside of L.A. (Mount San Antonio). And that his father (the keenly-named Kip King) was one of the original Groundlings, his mother (Hajnalka E. Biro) was a British model who even once posed for Playboy, and his grandfather was a letter carrier for the legendary T.E. Lawrence.
Kattan survived all that craziness to find real sobriety. Nevertheless, do you mind if we say “Wow!”?
Recovery, says Macklemore. Not just sobriety. That’s what saved my life. And that’s what keeps the music in me.
That’s what everybody’s favorite “Thrift Shop” rapper admitted on People’s Party with Talib Kweli. And that’s what his fans already kinda suspected. Now though they’ve all got rock solid confirmation. And so does everyone else.
Macklemore’s admission was picked up by People, Uproxx and USA Today. That means the story is definitely out there. Add the folks who heard it first hand via Kweli and, well, that pretty much covers everyone. We’re chiming in just in case anyone missed it.
Why? Because it’s incredibly important for people to hear about recovery’s benefits. That includes those who’ve heard it all before too. See reaffirmation is just as important as affirmation itself. In fact, both fall from the same tree.
The Tree of Life.
Everyone knows Rob Lowe. He’s nearly as ubiquitous to television as TV itself. But not everyone knows Rob Lowe is sober. In fact, he’s still sober. After an astonishing 30 years. That’s what we titled our praising piece anyway. And we can’t wait to do it at 35 and 40 too.
How does Lowe do it? Recovery, sobriety and therapy. Lowe’s a big believer in all three. He’s got a caveat though: “You have to want to do it.”
That’s what Lowe told Willie Geist on Sunday Today. That’s also what he tells young guns who are battling addiction. Lowe even tells their parents the same thing.
“I do a lot of work with adolescents who are struggling with drugs and alcohol, as well as their parents,” said Lowe. “And that’s the thing I always tell them. No one can get healthy for their job or for their relationship or because of their court case, or because of Mom or Dad or a sister or brother. They can only do it when they want to do it.”
“It’s really simple…” he added. “I wanted to do it. I was done, I was ready, I did it and got into recovery. And recovery really does work for people who work it.”
Have you ever heard of Ringo Starr blackout drunk? That’s what we asked at Recovery Boot Camp a couple years back. In fact that’s actually what we titled the post. Ringo Starr: Blackout Drunk. Why? Because that’s what Ringo used to be. A bona fide blackout drunk. The legendary drummer even said so. And he said so onstage at New York’s famed Rainbow Room in front of some equally distinguished guests.
“I was living my life so great,” said Ringo. “I was one of those really nice pass-out, blackout drunks. Anyway, I came to out of a blackout one day and I had done a lot of damage. I was about to lose the love of my life, Barbara, and everything else. It was my moment.”
Ringo’s confession came with his wife Barbara Bach Starkey by his side, just as she’s been lo these many many years. Bach herself is a recovering alcoholic, as well as a former Bond Girl. So she knows well what it’s like to be an addicted celebrity. She also knows what it takes to get clean and sober. And how much it means — to herself, to Ringo, and to their families.
So does Ringo. And the two were onstage that night to honor the efforts — and sobriety — of someone else who knows. We mean Joe Walsh, who happens to be married to Marjorie Bach Walsh and is Sir Ringo and Lady Barbara’s brother-in-law. The Starrs had come to present the Walshes with NCADD’s annual Humanitarian Award. And the shine was bright for all four of them!
The Sober Army
Healing Properties salutes the ever-growing sober army. We hope to see it grow more and more each and every day. We also salute those who are about to enlist. It’s hard to fully commit. Especially at first. But once you do, man-oh-man, will your life become so much better. No foolin.’ Just check the above. And if somehow the above stories don’t convince you of sobriety’s many benefits, then give us a ring. Please. We’ll map it out for you, step by step. In fact, we’d be honored to do just that.
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons — with great gratitude.)