Put things in context! If you’re struggling with drink, you’re probably beating yourself up. If you’re in the middle of recovery, you may still be suffering low self-esteem or related issues. That kind of bad head space, with some isolation it may entail, just isn’t good.
It may be a bit helpful to realize you’re not alone. In that spirit, here are people who have touched many lives in positive ways, who have known great success themselves, even while struggling with substance abuse.
The critically-acclaimed actor with dozens of huge parts to his name became famous as a teenager. But one of his biggest roles, that in Pirates of the Caribbean, had to be cut short for Depp to seek treatment. He further disrupted his career by having to avoid movie premieres due to the temptation of drink.
The takeaway from Depp is that he now speaks out against alcohol abuse, using his celebrity for good.
She’s a great actress, best known for her role in Nurse Jackie. But in the 90’s, she says she was “drunk all the time.” She’s now been sober for twenty years—and that’s absolutely something to celebrate!
It’s hard to find a better symbol and embodiment of simple, pure beauty. But the model and actress was plagued by alcohol abuse, as well as other drugs. All of has a beauty of some kind—how can we diminish it with substances?
Alcohol abuse has played a big role in many of King’s best-selling novels. We now know the first-hand knowledge King was able to apply to the situation. Much of his worst struggle came in the 1980’s, getting so bad that it demanded a family intervention. One takeaway from this celebrity who struggled with drinking is that if you’re having a hard time stopping on your own or taking yourself into rehab, you’re in good company. Don’t feel guilty, just do what needs to be done.
One of many comedians who has sadly struggled with alcohol, Williams has something to distinguish him: when he was alive, he was very outspoken about his flaws and about what alcohol abuse has does to a person. He was a role model for recovering alcoholics in that regard.
People liked to attach his name to that of the woman he was dating and make a nickname. But that obscured serious alcoholism he went through as a young star in the 90’s and early aughts. Now Affleck is winning Oscars, at the top of his game, and booze-free.
A 2002 DUI for Ross came after one brief rehab stay and led to a longer one, the one that stuck. Takeaway: celebs who struggle with alcoholism are just like you—they can benefit from a second chance—don’t give up.
Yes, the Mick! This great ballplayer would’ve racked up even greater stats had he given himself full health to play with. He died in 1995 after receiving a liver transplant due to the cirrhosis he’d caused himself.
Long, long before Silence of the Lambs, Hopkins, then a lesser-known actor in England, woke up far from home, not knowing how he’d got there. That kind of black-out drunk capability convinced him he needed a change, so, following the lead of his hero, Laurence Olivier, he checked himself into AA, and has been sober ever since.
This is real, brothers and sisters. Alcohol is a poison strong enough to foil Harry Potter. Imagine the little wizard staggering around the set, drunk. He had to shut himself off from society, but he did emerge sober! Friends, whatever it takes for you to take care of yourself! A sacrifice now, one that might shut you off from others, can pay lasting dividends.
Hey, if you’re a fan of songs like “Love in an Elevator,” and “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” give some credit to sobriety. Those Aerosmith tunes came out after the band’s resurgence in 1986; that came about as a result of Tyler overcoming his struggle with drink.
Robert Downey, Jr.
While Hopkins found himself nowhere near his own home, in the 90’s, Downey, Jr. once stumbled into the wrong house, falling asleep and causing the family to call 9-1-1. Downey’s 2005 marriage helped him with his sobriety—this doesn’t mean you should go out and get married, but the help of a loved person can be great.
Mr. Spock got a little tipsy during tapings of Star Trek. Isn’t it amazing how far alcohol has reached into our society. You’re not alone when you have struggles—but be like these celebs who have conquered the demon.
Griffith’s story, in some ways, isn’t as inspiring as the others, since she has been in and out of rehab many times. But it illustrates an important point—kicking addiction isn’t always a matter of trying just once.
Jamie Lee Curtis
The actress refers to her getting sober as the bravest thing she’s ever done, and I understand completely. She struggled with alcohol and pain pills and has been sober for decades. She’s now a wonderful role model as a spokesperson for the sober.