Maintaining sobriety has been an issue that a majority of addicts face after treatment.
Daniel Radcliffe is also no different. After deciding to quit alcohol, the Harry Potter star went through a brief relapse phase but he bounced back and now has been sober for almost three years.
The 26-year old actor shared his experience from relapse to sobriety with The Telegraph and here’s is what he has to say.
Radcliffe has had a dream career. He was signed in the titular role of Harry Potter at just the age of eleven, and the series went on to become the most successful movie franchise till date. However, it is his battle with alcoholism that made his life chaotic and affected his career too.
The actor believes that he suffered from an “unhealthy” drinking problem to the extent that many times he appeared on the sets of Harry Potter fully drunk. That did create problems for him back then as he blacked out pretty often, unsettling the entire cast and crew of the movie.
“I can’t tell you what kind of drunk I am because I don’t remember what kind of drunk I am. I think I’m probably great—while I’m conscious. But then I have to be looked after and ultimately I don’t want to wake up to 20 text messages along the lines of, ‘Where are you? Dude, are you OK?’”
A month after the wrap up of the last Harry Potter movie, Radcliffe decided to quit drinking for good and he stuck to his decision. It is a fact that he did go through a relapse but that was a brief phase, which he quickly overcome and has managed to remain sober for the last three years. There are certain changes in his personality that he noticed after quitting alcohol. Talking about those changes, Radcliffe said:
“I feel a lot more settled mentally, and am more comfortable with what makes me happy,” said Radcliffe about his life today. More comfortable with the fact that I am a person that loves just hanging out with my friends. Or watching quiz shows. I am comfortable with the things about myself that I used to think, man, am I really boring? Should I be going out and getting wasted all the time?”
Being in his twenties, partying used to be a mandatory part of his life, as is of anyone else’s in this age but his drinking habit made him change his lifestyle drastically, which is something he repents.
“There is something in any person who drinks in a way that’s clearly not good for them, something that is attracted to that chaos. I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes.”
Staying sober wasn’t easy though, says Radcliffe, as he had to take what he refers to as “epic five-hour walks” whenever he felt the craving to drink. But, soon he realized that it’s all in his head and if he is able to divert his thought process to other, more constructive things, he might be able to win this battle. So, he started focusing more on the gym and running.
“I found you just roll around in your head. Like the cliché of anybody who is quitting something, I really got into exercise.”
Another past-time activity that he finds most productive to stay sober is reading, which used to be an important activity of the day during his teens but drinking made him turn his back on reading.
“I was a really voracious reader in my teens and that was one of the things I found drinking took away from me, bizarrely, as a side effect. I didn’t have the compulsion or energy to read anything. So I’ve got that back.”
Now he has literally abandoned his trips to bars swapping even to the supermarket and restaurants to stay sober. It is not an ideal situation for him though as he loves to go out and shop. But, he wants to win this battle against alcoholism and it requires him to be strong and determined.
“It sounds so sad but I love going to the supermarket, doing a shop. I feel I’ve achieved something, been productive. I go to restaurants. I go to the pub for a bit but then I’m like, OK, if you’re all staying and getting drunk then I’m going to go because I can’t do that.”