What Can We Learn From Sober Celebrities?
Sure sober celebrities make a lot of headlines. But is their sobriety experience really any different from the Average John or Jane Doe? Yes and No. In the Yes place, the Does aren’t under intense scrutiny. Not generally anyway. And even if they are, their missteps aren’t likely to make headlines. The Does aren’t likely to be role models either — certainly not to celebrity scale. So there’s little chance their actions might impact millions. No, a Doe may be dear to a few close friends and family, but their drinking and drugging pretty much takes place in a bubble.
In the No place, an addict is an addict is an addict. At least so far as biology is concerned. Your body still drips blood, sweat and tears. It’s also beset by hope and faith and doubt and fear and a variety of other feelings and emotions. No matter what you do for a living.
Parallels with Sober Celebrities
So, if sober celebrities can’t identify with John and Jane Doe, and John and Jane Doe can’t identify with sober celebrities, what can we learn from their sobriety?
A lot, as it turns out. A real lot. It also turns out that a lot of what we might learn can come from any ol’ addict or alcoholic, celebrity or otherwise.
Back in the day, Lana Del Rey told GQ UK that “alcohol was the first love of her life.” So she entered rehab in her late teens to address the issue. Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt both told the U.S. GQ that they took alcohol way too far. Cooper said he was at risk of ruining everything; Pitt said he ran his wine drinking “into the ground.”
Does any of the above sound familiar? Of course it does.
How about Tobey Maguire raving to Playboy about the pragmatism he found in Alcoholics Anonymous?
“It’s just all practical,” said the Spider-Man star. “There are no holes in the program. It’s so, so simple. I come in, I ask for help. It has totally changed my life.”
Or supermodel Naomi Campbell telling Vogue she sought and found help there too?
“I used to have a lot of problems,” she told the magazine. “Amongst others I drank too much so I joined Alcoholics Anonymous to get and stay sober.”
Game of Thrones star Kit Harington also fought the bottle — he didn’t let the bottle win either.
“I went through some pretty horrible stuff,” Harington explained. “You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person, you feel like you are a shameful person. And you feel that there’s no way out, that’s just who you are.”
Ring any bells?
Here’s another bell for you to ring:
“I have a child and my relationship is brilliant… I’m a very, very happy, content, sober man.”
It’s the same bell Harington rings now that he’s just about to reach three years of sobriety.
At the end of the night, sober celebrities are just like everyone else who’s battled addiction. And like everyone else they struggle as much as they succeed. There’s no quick fix. For anyone. Yet, there is a simple fix. And it can be found in the person sitting next to you at AA as well as the star on the stage or the screen.
Do the work.
That’s it. You step up, make the decision, and do the work. Some will find it to be a breeze. Other may hit a squall or three. But storms subside. So raise your collar, lower your hat and push forward.
As for learning from sober celebrities, well, you should be thankful you don’t have their problems. You should also give them extra credit for surmounting those problems.
Be grateful your rehab (or relapse) isn’t being read about (let alone ridiculed) by millions. That you don’t have an unending network of glad-handers (let alone unlimited resources) to risk your sobriety. That you can really take advantage of the anonymity of AA.
Mostly though, be thankful that there aren’t legions of others following in your footsteps. Because just as surely as your sobriety might induce untold thousands to also get sober, your relapse might do likewise with who knows how many. And who knows how many don’t ever come back from relapse.
So yes, it’s a question of if they can do it then so can you. But it’s also a question of if they can do it, they deserve to be commended, just like you do too. Because when it comes to fighting addiction, everybody’s got it tough.
Covering Sober Celebrities
Healing Properties has covered our fair share of sober celebrities. We’ve spilled ink on Demi Lovato and her California Sober stance (California vs Florida: Which Sober Are You?), Anthony Hopkins, Jamie Lee Curtis and the rest of the hardcore, longtime Sober Army (The Sober Army is Getting Larger By the Day!), the relapse and rise of the effortlessly charming Dax Shepard (Dax Shepard is Back on Top of the World). Heck, we even did a piece on pandemic binge drinking that included Billy Joel, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Bradley Cooper, Gary Oldman and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe (Binge Drinking at Home — It’s Pandemic!).
Our colleagues at Recovery Boot Camp and the Schnellenberger Family Foundation have also spilled some considerable ink on the issue. RBC has featured the likes of Ringo Starr (Ringo Starr Blackout Drunk), Ben Affleck (Ben Affleck is Back in Rehab), Eminem (Eminem Marks 10 Years of Sobriety) and SNL’s Chris Kattan (SNL’s Chris Kattan Comes Clean). They also dove into Demi Lovato’s relapse. Then they covered Amazon’s heart-stirring Beautiful Boy, which starred Steve Carell, Amy Ryan and Timothée Chalamet, whose character is beaten and battered by meth.
While SFF, for its part, not only also sang the praises of Lovato’s heart-wrenching song Sober, but rang steadily in support of sobriety from day one of its founding, just as namesake Coach Howard Schnellenberger did throughout his remarkable life. Heck, Coach was so devoted HP even included him in our Sober Army onslaught.
In other words, we’re the place to go for those who are seeking sobriety. And we’ve been just that since 2002. That’s right. We’ve been helping men get and stay clean for nearly two decades. We’ll continue helping men too; so long as there are men who need help. Got doubts? Give us a call. We’ll put those doubts to rest, once and for all.