Tag Archive: Addictions


5 Celebrities Who Have Bounced Back From a Relapse

celebrities who have come back from a relapse

Being famous definitely has its perks. But, it also has its downfalls. Some might argue that fame and drugs go hand-in-hand and that it’s probably a common occurrence to see, be around, or use drugs when you’re famous. And no doubt, there have been numerous tragic stories of celebrities who have succumbed to their drug addiction. But, we’re here to talk about something positive: Celebrities who have relapsed but who have also bounced back and are thriving!

But first, a word about addiction and relapse. One of the main working definitions of addiction is that it is a chronic, progressive, relapsing disorder. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone who is recovering from drug addiction will relapse at one time or another. However, keep in mind that addiction is an insidious disease that can sneak up on you and the statistics don’t lie: Information gathered by drug and alcohol rehabs show that the percentage of people who will relapse after rehab and even after a having had a period of sobriety ranges from as much as 50% to an astonishing 90%.

Being in recovery can be tough, no doubt. Being a celebrity in recovery is possibly tougher. We’re told we need to change “people, places, things” but, it’s got to be hard to do that if you’re a celebrity in Hollywood. As a member of an exclusive group, you’d have to mingle with some of the same people as before, visit a lot of the same places and attend the same events (think: Oscars and all those before and after parties and all of that alcohol), as well as be a part of the same microcosm of other famous people.

Here are 5 celebs that relapsed but are sober now.

Robert Downey Jr.

robert downey jr sober

RDJ was the epitome of achronic-relapser. After repeated attempts at rehab though, the actor has been drug-free since 2003, proving that recovery is possible. He credits his family, therapy, a twelve-step recovery program, yoga and meditation, and the practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu.Downey is an inspiring role model to many in recovery: after struggling for so long with a raging drug addiction and its consequences (Downey is no stranger to the justice system), he is thriving in sobriety. With over four decades in the business and an amazing list of credits to his name – the Iron Man franchise, Sherlock Holmes 1 and 2, a hilariously memorable role in Tropic Thunder – RDJ has managed to stay relevant and fresh and is more successful than ever.


eminem sober

Several years ago,Eminem was struggling with alcohol and painkillers and decided to go to rehab. Within the first three weeks, he relapsed and within a month his addiction was worse than ever.”I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem,” Eminem said in an interview. “I just remember liking it more and more. People tried to tell me that I had a problem.” He eventually began mixing pills, which led to an overdose. The rapper was rushed to the hospital when he went into organ failure. A month after being released from the hospital, Eminem experienced another relapse.

He says he effectively got sober on April 20, 2008 and considers Elton John to be a close friend and mentor during that difficult time.

Gerard Butler

gerard butler sober

Before becoming an actor, Butler accepted an offer from Glasgow University to study law and, upon graduation, he earned aposition as a trainee lawyer at a law firm in Edinburgh. But, due to his alcoholic lifestyle, hefrequently missed work and, one week before he would qualify as a full-fledged lawyer, hewas fired.Around this time, Butler’s father passed away. Butler has said of this period in his life: “I had gone from a 16-year-old who couldn’t wait to grasp life to a 22-year-old who didn’t care if he died in his sleep.” The 25-year-old unqualified lawyer then moved to London in order to pursue an acting career.  Butler has admitted that, “When I started out, I’m not sure I was actually in it for the right reasons. I wanted very much to be famous.”

Although Butler quit drinking 15 years ago, he was in rehab just a few years back – this time for an addiction to prescription painkillers. Butler began taking painkillers after an injury while shooting the movie Shattered in 2007. “I started taking more. And I started taking them very quickly.” He says he sought treatment through a rehab before it got too out of hand. Butler has been clean and sober ever since.

Kelly Osbourne

kelly osbourne sober

Singer-songwriter, actress, television personality, and fashion designer, Kelly Osborne has madequite a name for herself. However, it wasn’t without its struggles – namely – drug addiction. As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and Kelly unfortunately takes after her dad, musician Ozzy Osbourne, when it comes to substance abuse.Both father and daughter are clean and sober today. But not without their respective relapses.

At the age of 17, Kelly became addicted to Vicodin – something that had been inadvertently documented on the family’s reality TV show, The Osbournes.

After a fourth stint in rehab in 2009, Kelly said that she finally felt optimistic about her chances at recovery. “After 30 days, I left rehab. For the first time, I felt hopeful. I knew I’d been given another chance at my life, at my career, at happiness. I wanted to grab it.”

Keith Urban

keith urban sober

Musician and American Idol judge Keith Urban is no stranger to rehab – he has been there three times to treat addictions to cocaine and alcohol.“The truth is that I wasn’t even aware of where it was at in my life and how it was just going to come down and take me down like it did,” he told Ellen in 2010. “I was probably in such a state of denial that I consciously wasn’t aware of it.”

After experiencing one relapse, he checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in California in October of 2006. At that time, Urban issued a statement regarding the nature of the disease of addiction, saying: “One can never let one’s guard down on recovery, and I’m afraid that I have.”

Urban has been clean and sober for the better part of a decade now and has continued to enjoy great success. Urban has two daughters with wife, Nicole Kidman, and continues to tour as well as sit as judge for one of America’s most popular television programs.

The 3rd step is also the 3rd step in my little cha-cha dance.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

We made a decision…  this says to me that it is truly up to me to make this choice.  I can choose to be sick and crazy, or I can choose to get better and ask for help from my higher power.  If I ask for help then I have to be willing to get out of the damn way so that He can do what He needs to do to help me. And it’s the care of God not the full control, not the ultimate fix all.  We still have to play a part in our lives, we just have to be willing to ask the right questions and listen to the answers.  It may not be what we want and it may not even be something that we understand at the very moment.  But it is there, if we ask for it.

If I ask for the ability to understand my husband, He is going to give me a situation where I have to be understanding.  If I want to forgive my husband, He will give me a situation where I will need to forgive.  If I ask to be more patient, He will give me a situation where I have to show patience.  He is not going to magically give me what I ask for, He is going to give me the tools to show myself that I have the ability to do it.  Al-Anon has shown me that when I asked for strength, He showed me that I am strong.

So as we start our step 3, remember that it is in this step that we learn that God is willing to show us what we already have inside us, if we are willing to trust Him and ask for His help.  It’s like asking for someone to take the blindfold off so you can look at your self for the first time.  You get to see all the wonderful things inside you that has been there the whole time, it was just hidden behind our own blockades.  We pulled off the blinders, we pulled back the shades…seeing the true self that is there by asking God for His help, we should be ready for the next step – Our personal inventory, but more on that next month.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too.



Circle of friends…

A few Sunday’s ago I was invited to the closed Sunday night AA meeting by a few members to see a friend get his Chip.  13 year sober birthday, I was honored to be invited.  They got a chocolate cake that I could not eat, but that’s OK – it’s what he wanted for a cake.  We had to move our meeting outside due to the regular room being full of items and no one had a key to the other room.  So we grabbed some chairs and made a big circle outside, it was a beautiful cool night in southern Arizona.  We did have to compete with the trains going by, but that was OK too.  Added a bit of atmosphere to the meeting.

Sitting there in the circle with friends, my husband, a new comer – it was just amazing.  Some of us cried, all of us laughed.  It was a night full of stories, prayers, hopes, dreams, fears – It was just amazing all the way around.  I liked sitting in a circle – being able to see everyone as we shared was just so special.

I am so very thankful for the meetings that they open up for me.  I always feel welcomed and they all say how glad they are that I came.  They know that support is a needed part of anyone’s sobriety.  I have tried to make sure Hubby knows I support him.  Now that it is getting cooler at night it might be getting closer to when we can go to the bonfire meetings that they have out here in the desert.  A meeting around a fire with a potluck – oh I am so there.  It was too hot in the summer time even at night to even think about a campfire.

I must apologize for my lengthy time between posts lately.  My life has been crazy, the amount of time I can take to take care of myself is less that I would like.  I consider this something I do for myself.  I get to unleash all the thoughts in my head and get them out of the way.


“When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual

AA Big Book

AA Big Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was. We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. ‘Do I now believe, or am I willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?’ As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.* (please be sure to read “Spiritual Experience”)” (p47 The Anonymous Press Mini Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous

Tonight at our meetings, my hubby gets his 9 month coin.  I am thinking about not going to Al-Anon tonight and going into his AA meeting.  I was also thinking about maybe getting some cookies or a cake to take in – but that might have to wait till his one year – I will be bringing in a cake for that night for sure!!  I am very proud of how far we have come.  He has made a lot of changes.  There are things that are still hard, but we will both always be in recovery.  This is something we will both have the rest of our lives.  I was co-dependent and thought I had to give up my spine.  But I have learned how not to feed off of the negative and how to thrive as a strong women.

Can I live without him? Yes, where as before I thought I could not.  The key thing now is, I know I CAN do it, but I would rather not.  I would rather have him in my left and share with me all the ups and downs than to be without him.  I know I can do it now, so what is keeping me with him is love not fear.  We both know that now and it has helped.  He has told many people, even so I can hear it that he knows he can not bowl me over.  He said I fond my spine within the walls of Al-Anon and he is happy I did.  I had a very overbearing moth growing up, it was her way of the high way, nothing wrong with that, but it made me a little more timid about standing up.

I still have an issue with it sometimes, but I have been able to walk away from something, but go back and say “Hey, that was not nice.”  I have learned that not every comment needs a response, so I can keep my mouth shut when it’s not needed.  (Most of the time)  Has life been hard, you bet!  Has it been hard on us having to pay for all of his court stuff, you bet!  But we would have been in the same boat paying for his drinking too.  Do I wish we had more money, hell yes!  But I also want health more.  Everyday I wake up and have another healthy day, another day on this earth, another day to share with the love of my life and grow and learn together – well I am blessed for everyday I get.  I am just trying to get through one day at a time, cause well how can I fix tomorrow when today is still a mess.  All I can do is right at this very moment.  I can not change the outcome of things.  I can not control everything.

I used to have to feel like I had control over it all, but guess what – I don’t!  I need to work on my letting go and letting god still.  There are somethings I still have an issue with on letting go of.  I need to step back and re-look at everything.

By volume

“When I was drinking I was 100% ass hole by volume.  Now i am only 5% ass hole by volume.”

This is what hubby and I talked about last night, the second he said it I wrote it down.  He laughs cause I carry a note pad all the time to jot down ideas or little says he comes up with.  He had his last class for substance abuse on Tuesday and had to write a closing letter.  It was truly touching and very heart-felt.  He really got a lot from the class.  We were talking about a few things from the past.  Not that we dwell on the past, but there was a lot there that was never talked about due to his drinking.  So every once in a while we touch back on ways that we both have changed.  I feel to know that I am moving forward I have to remember where I have been.  Learn from my mistakes and move on.  So that’s what we did last night.  We talked a little bit about how it used to be.

I can see this light in his eyes and a smile in his face that shows over his whole face, not just his lips.  We laugh and joke and teas each other, but in a nice manner not the mean bully teasing or our past ways.  I think now we are a couple.  The past we didn’t know how to be a couple, I think now we are finally learning how to be a couple and how to live and love one another.  I have always loved him, but the tools we used to leave with each other were being used improperly.  The instruction manual had been translated poorly and was missing some pages.  We did the best we could with what we had, but that wasn’t good for either of us.  Now that the tools have been dusted off, repaired and we have been shown how to properly use them life has been the way it should be.  Our life might not suit you, but that’s cause it our life.  I can only live life on life’s terms, and I can only do it one day at a time.

So was I just sweet and innocent in all this mess?  absolutely not!  I was allowing myself to sit on my pity pot and i was allowing my guilt and my fear transpose into resentment for who I thought was the cause.  and It was not a person, it was a thing.  Alcohol stole my happiness, my self confidence and my love for life in general.  How can an inanimate object steal something from you?  Alcohol is a drug, and drugs can steal more from you that you can imagine.  I lost my husband, it almost took him from me for good.  I fear that if he would have continued down that path he could very well been on a road to death.

I am not sure if it would have been either from health reasons, a fight or some other alcohol related incident – but I feared the worse.  I was also at risk of some health issues, I was in a sever depression, my blood pressure was so high the dr was messing with all my meds and food intake, I did countless tests the summer.  I have chronic migraines and they were out of control with all the stress.  I either didn’t want to eat or could not stop eating.  All the stress and panic I had hidden inside was starting to take its toll.  I blew through my PTO at work due to everything and was not happy with any aspect of my life.

Now when stuff is thrown at me, I ask for some help.  I ask help from my higher power, my husband, my friends and my family.  I would always try to do it all for myself.  I needed people to think of me as this strong person who could take it all on with a smile on her face.  I think that I felt that if everyone thought I was strong, I would too.  I would not feel the pain, physical and emotional that was ripping at my body and soul.  If everyone saw the iron hide then it must be there, right?  Truth was, I was a frightened, panic-stricken lost little girl who was in so much pain it scared her to death.  I was convinced that after some tests I was going to have something incurable.  well not incurable, but unmanageable is what my co-dependency had become.  So I got through step one, and now with step 2 – I can talk to my higher power and let them restore me to sanity.

So he may have been “100% ass hole by volume” But I was 100% co-dependent and insane by volume.  So now I look forward to a life with a lower proof on my bottle of insanity and I higher lever of understanding and faith.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

My fortune cookie…

At one of my lunches this week I got a fortune cookiethat said:

An unopened fortune cookie

The real test in life is not in keeping out of the rough, but in getting out after you are in.

I really like this one.  It’s not about how many times I have avoided the rough, its how well I get up and brush myself off after.  Yes I

English: Sand trap, Kilspindie Small, perfectl...

Image via Wikipedia

might have some sand on my clothes and maybe even some dirt in my hair, but I made it out and am standing on my own two feet again.  I must learn that the path I just took was not the right one and get back on the correct path.  As long as I don’t go back the same way and keep ending up in the same hole.  Repeating the same action over and over expecting a different result every time is the definition of insanity.  I have had enough insanity in my life for a long time, I am covered.  So I have to make sure that I learn from my mistakes so I do not repeat them.

I repeated the same thing every day for 5 years expecting it to just automagicaly get better.  I waited for it to just be ok again, but I was not making any changes from within myself to do that.  I was slowly changing, but it was not for the better.  We both changed into people we didn’t like, but were almost trapped inside with out an escape plan.  I found the escape hatch that night in the AA meeting, I hit the release button and have looked forward ever since.  I do think back to those times, but only as a refection.  Just to see what there is to learn from it before I move on to the next thing.  I have to learn from the mistakes I already made.  Otherwise I might repeat them and I really don’t want that.

**as a side note – right after I wrote this my Hubby got home and started to talk about the same thing.  How repeating the same action expecting a different result is insanity.  I started to giggle and he kinda got upset.  I pulled it together so he could finish, I then told him that I had just wrote about that exact thing and then we both had a good laugh about it.**

On the Ranch…

My Best Friend called me to tell me he had relapsed with his pain-killer addiction.  He lives in another state so its hard on me not to be able to be there for him.  But he entered a rehab program a few days after Christmas, I am so very proud of him.  He will be done with the in-house treatment program in about a week and I can not wait to talk to him.  I did hear from him for a bit on Saturday, he said he is doing very well and is getting the help he needs working through the 12 steps with NA and AA meetings.  He will continue to attend meetings once the in-house program is done.  I wished they were closer so we could all go to meetings together, but for now just the fact that he is healing is pure joy to me.  I have been staying in contact with his wife to make sure she is getting the support that she needs to heal from this as well.  He told me I was free to be able to post something about him, so that is why I have not shared this up until now.

There is nothing wrong with seeking help from a rehab center.  Sometimes you can not do this on your own.  They help you through the detox and then teach you the tools you will need to continue on your own.  Now, some places all they care about is the cash, but if you can find a good center that cares about the people not their bank account, well then you go yourself a very good place.  Others in AA and Al-Anon have different views on the treatment centers, but hey, what ever it takes to get better I say go for it.

I am going to see if he would be so kind as to write-up a few things to share with you about his time in treatment, his battle with the addiction.  I can only write from the Al-Anon side and bits from the AA side that I get from my husband.  But I would love to be able to also bring in the point of view from someone who suffers from the addiction.

7 months

My husband has been sober for 7 months now – I am so proud of him.  He gets his next chip at 9 months, I was at his AA meeting when he got his 6 month chip.  I will be there for his 9 month one too if he wants.  Each Chip represents a goal reached, and each reached Goal is something to be celebrated.  When he reaches his one year – I might just have to put together a party for him.  If anyone would like to Share a Goal or a sober birth-date please feel free to send them to chipinmyheart2011@gmail.com or post them in a comment.  If you send an email please note if you would like them posted on the blog and I will get it added to the mail bag page.  I would love to start filling that page but need some fan mail first 😉 *hint*hint*

My dad is going to make a display board for his chips, I think it will look very nice hanging up in our house.  He thought he had lost his chip when he had to go down town and go through the metal detector scanner thing.  His 6 month chip is the same color as the bins that you put your stuff in.  After a little bit of time he realized that the coin was missing.  He went back to where the scanner was and asked the lady running it if she had found a blue coin.  She handed him the coin and with a big smile on her face told him “congratulations”   It was nice of a stranger to say something like that to him, he had a big smile on his face telling me about it.

People have mixed reactions when he talks about his recovery or all that he has been doing for his recovery – some are happy and some get uncomfortable.  Maybe they feel they have an issue but don’t want to talk about it, maybe they have a relative that had a problem with addiction.  Not sure, and its not my place to wonder or ask.  All we can do is make sure they know that we are open about talking about it and we are willing to take who ever would like to join us to a meeting.  I had someone very close join me on my first Al-Anon meeting and would be more than willing to have someone come with me if they want to see what it is all about.  I am sure my husband feels the same way with his AA meetings.


“It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I thought this was fitting for anyone doing the 12 steps.  You must remember that it is a one step at a time thing.  One step at a time, one day at a time, one goal at a time… it’s not an over night change.  I thought once He stopped drinking life was going to go back to normal.  Nope, he had a lot of pain and things pent up that he was hiding with the alcohol.  We both hid behind our own veils and thought we did a good job.  I used to think as long as there was a smile on my face no one would know how bad I hurt.  Not so much.  To most I am an open book, no matter what cover I put on the pages people can still read the signs.  The only person I felt never got me was my husband.  He could never understand the pain from being lonely, the migraines, the hurtfulness from his words…there is no way he understood me.  The only one of those that was true was the migraines, he doesn’t have them that bad.  Little did I understand then that he was in his own kind of pain.  He understood all too well the loneliness, he is the adult child of two sever alcoholics who do not believe they have an issue and have disowned their son and me.  That is their own deal, and we are not going to be a part of it.  They also have the control problem and we were unwilling to let them control us and that didn’t work for them.

Pain is lonely, I spent so much time alone due to my migraines.  No one understands them, they just want to leave you alone.  That works for some people, but I hate to be alone.  Now that my husband has a better understanding of my migraines, he knows how to better help me.  Just as he took the time to learn about my illness, I took the time to learn about his.  That’s when I discovered its not just the alcoholic who is sick.  It’s a family illness and effects all members in it.  AA will not teach him how to make me stop being co-dependent and Al-anon will not teach me how to get him to stop drinking.  The groups are there to help the person in it, the other person needs their own recovery plan.

So just remember, just because it doesn’t seem like someone should be in pain, the hurt could just be in the inside.  Just because they don’t have bruises and scares, doesn’t mean that it’s all in their head.  You would not tell a person who has cancer to just stop having cancer, its something that needs to be treated.

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