Karen Ocamb

Daniel Radcliffe Comes Out About His Sobriety

Filed By Karen Ocamb | July 06, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: alcohol addiction, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter, sobriety

In a story in Monday's USA Today, Harry Potter and How to Succeed in Business star Daniel Radcliffe comes out about his addiction to alcohol.

In an interview with British GQ, the 21-year old actor reveals that alcohol became his enemy.

“I became so reliant on (alcohol) to enjoy stuff,” he admits. “There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.”

Now he doesn't drink.

“As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn’t work for me. I do that very unsuccessfully. I’d just rather sit at home and read, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh. There’s no shame in enjoying the quiet life. And that’s been the realization of the past few years for me.”

I want to extend a personal note to Daniel Radcliffe. First, thank you for coming out about your problem with alcohol. It took me a very, very long time - and a number of suicide attempts - to realize that alcohol and drugs significantly contributed to my constant depression; they did not make me more "creative" as I mythologized. I got sober in 1980 because my boss gave me a choice: get sober or lose my job - and my job was my identity. I "white-knuckled" it for the first six months, repeating the mantra: "I will not drink, use, or kill myself one minute at a time." Luckily, I also had to attend 12 Step meetings where I was required to "fess up" about my feelings - and that wound up saving my life. I heard "you're only as sick as your secrets" and discovered I wasn't alone or so special in having some pretty deep and dark secrets.

At times, my journey in sobriety has been bumpy and I've had to reach out and ask for help - not something I'm good at. But I discovered that in some of those most painful moments, I had the opportunity to excavate all that old crap that gnawed at and controlled me and make room for something new. And as deep down as I dug, I discovered I also had that deep a capacity to love. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Which brings me to my second point: thank you, Daniel Radcliffe, for your commitment to helping LGBT and questioning youth who are hurting and might be considering suicide. Knowing that you, too, have problems makes your contribution even more significant: you "get" the pain.

There's a wonderful "promise" in my 12 Step program that says: "No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others." I hope you keep sharing your personal experience so young people can see that even movie and Broadway stars can have problems - and unashamedly do something about it. Sobriety helps life get better.

Daniel Radcliffe was honored by The Trevor Project recently and here discussed the importance of the organization:

(Crossposted at LGBT POV)

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Thanks, Karen, and thanks Daniel! Alcoholism is a real killer, about which many members of our LBGT Community are often in complete denial.

There is a wonderful life for alcoholics and addicts AFTER drugs and alcohol. Thankfully, I hit bottom 28 years ago and will celebrate 28 years clean and sober on August 26. Largely thanks to my participation in two 12 Step Programs, I am experiencing a happy fulfilling life one day at a time.

Jim Toevs