Elton John Celebrates 29 Years Sober
By: Liz Stanislawski
At Cumberland Heights we encourage patients, alumni and staff to recover out loud if they feel comfortable. It helps erase the stigma and gives hope to others who may be struggling. Many of us look up to celebrities who choose to recover out loud – I mean, think of the number of people someone like Sir Elton John reaches compared to us!
Just look to his latest tweet that read, “I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: ‘I need help.’ Thank you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety. I am eternally grateful.” As of Aug. 2, that tweet had been liked by nearly 125,000 people, retweeted by 14,000 and commented on by more than 2,000. Talk about an impact.
The star’s struggles with addiction were also laid out in a recently released movie, “Rocketman”, an unapologetic, biopic musical that doesn’t sugarcoat his years of sex, drugs and other risky behaviors.
Elton has said it was difficult for him to watch.
“This is how my life was, and I didn’t want to cover it and gloss it over,” he said. “And it’s difficult to watch because I thought, ‘God, I don’t want to go back there. Thank God I came out of it’.”
He continued, “Success was fantastic, and then I couldn’t cope with it,” he added of the pressures of fame. “And you can’t leave out the bad.”
It was the 1990 death of Ryan White, a young AIDS victim and friend of John’s that made the superstar take a step back and look at his own life. He checked into treatment shortly after.
Elton John even used his new lease on life to start the Elton John AIDS foundation which has raised over $400,000 dollars to combat the disease. John is also celebrating his 5th wedding anniversary this year to David Furnish, who he has been with for 25 years. Together they have two sons – Zachary, 8 and Elijah, 6.
“I am survivor. I’ve survived a lot of things. Life is full of pitfalls, even when you’re sober. I can deal with them now because I don’t have to run away and hide,” said Elton.
The 72-year-old has a big fall planned. He will resume his farewell tour in September. He’ll be here in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on October 28th. The Grammy winner also penned a new song “Never Too Late” for “The Lion King” that just hit theaters.