Russell Brand celebrates 16 years sober from alcohol and drugs with inspiring video message
No matter what you do for a job, life can be pretty stressful, and we all seek comfort in different ways. Unfortunately, for some of us, that means abusing drugs and alcohol. Those substances make us feel so good we keep coming back, chasing a feeling that keeps slipping through our fingers. Before you know it, you're hopelessly addicted, damaging your body and brain, stuck in a self-destructive shame spiral.
But it's never too late to turn things around - just look at Russell Brand. We remember him best as the loquacious rock star Aldous Snow from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek. But off-screen, the actor has undergone quite a journey of his own, battling an addiction to heroin and other drugs. In 2002, Brand checked into a rehabilitation facility, and has been sober ever since, thanks to the support of his wife, Laura Gallacher and two daughters.
To celebrate 16 years of sobriety, Brand shared an inspiring video message on Twitter. He described how bleak his situation was before he found peace of mind, and motivates his struggling followers to transform their lives. Here's a transcript of the full message:
"Hello, here is my message of gratitude and thanks on being 16 years clean today - December 13th. I remember being eggshell fragile this time 16 years ago, December 12th, the day before, 2002, Jesus. I’d scored two of each – two brown, that’s heroin - two white, that’s crack – it may be a little more, I can’t remember…
"But anyway, I remember using it in Camden... hanging out at my various mates’ houses, none of whom were drug addicts, I was just sort of sneaking off to do drugs in their toilets. And then I had the privilege of going to the twelve-step treatment center, getting three months there - the hugs, man, the hugs, the optimism. And then coming out and finding other support groups where people would sort me out, meeting mentors to hold my hand along the way, lights further down the path to look at, to guide me.
"And now, 16 years, two daughters, married, dogs, peace of mind, not enslaved by the opinions of other people, not enslaved by 'Aw, if I could get more money, if I could get more fame, if I could get more sex.' All of the things that get me off, drinks and drugs, can be worked in every area of my life. And those of you that are struggling with drink, drugs, food, sex, porn, bad relationships, other people’s opinions - all of these things, you can be liberated from.
"First you have to admit it’s a problem. Then, you have to believe it’s possible to change. Then you have to ask for and accept help. Some of that can be metaphysical, help from perfect consciousness within you and without you. And some of it, deeply practical - just asking help from other people that are further down the path than you.
"I was a proper smack-head, crack-head, and look at me now! No smack, no crack, still problems, still crazy, I mean look at that [pointing to his hair], that should have been tended to before putting a video up. But I have freedom now, and you can have freedom too. We can change ourselves, we can change everything. Thanks for everyone, I’m extremely grateful to everybody who has helped me on this journey. All of you, thank you."
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, contact Your Life Your Voice on 1-800-448-3000, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on 1-800-273-8255.