While AA’s “Big Book” is filled with epiphanies for many recovering addicts, some find it quite dated and difficult to relate to.
When I kicked the bottle, I wanted to study the examples of people who were role models in BOTH conquering addiction and achieving their dreams in life.
In fact, I had a bit of a head start in this regard. About a year before I finally decided to give up alcohol for good, my dad gave me a book by Joe Manganiello called Evolution. Since I’m not much of a movie or TV buff, I’d never seen any of the guy’s work. But I could immediately relate to his experience with alcohol addiction in his 20s. It was good to know that someone who had done this could move on to find success and recognition for both his acting and physique. While the book is really about getting into shape rather than battling addiction, it certainly served as one of my catalysts in deciding to get sober.
While I don’t participate in our culture’s obsession over mainstream celebrities, I definitely think that we can learn from people in the limelight who are in recovery. Most are very driven individuals who have achieved a high level of success despite living with an affliction that too often destroys lives. And when we hear unsavory revelations about celebrities who relapse or fail to confront their addictions, it’s a stark reminder that all the money and influence in the world can’t save you if you try to live in denial.
As for Joe, he’s been in recovery for well over a decade, and he’s about to marry Sofia Vergara. Not bad.
If you’re inspired by delving into the stories of people who have kicked their addictions, below are 10 people in the public eye who have faced their demons and come out on top. (Last I checked, all are still sober, although as we know this can sadly change.) I won’t try to condense their life stories into paragraphs here – this information can be found easily on the internet – but you might be surprised at some the names on this list:
- Bradley Cooper
- Eva Mendes
- Gerard Butler
- Jada Pinkett Smith
- Kristin Davis
- Rob Lowe
- Jon Hamm
- Tim McGraw
- Elton John