Steve-O on Getting Sober: 'I Had Been Spinning Out of Control for Some Time'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Nov 17th 2010 12:21PM
"Initially, my thinking was, 'I'm Steve O! I'm in the position where I can do a lot of good in the world. If I turn my life around I can lead by example,'" Steve-O -- whose real name is Stephen Glover -- told PopEater. "I had a crazy idea that I was going to be doing the rest of the world a big favor if I got clean and sober. That's what gave me the willingness to go to rehab.
Congrats on the success of the new movie. Are you surprised by it?
I don't think it's terribly surprising. I think it's a barometer of the downward spiral of our society. The more popular 'Jackass' is, the more trouble our society is in.
Maybe a little bit. Then again, it's not necessarily a new style of comedy, the 'Three Stooges' did it for years.
How long have you been sober?
Two-and-a-half years. For a guy like me, it's a long time.
What was your moment of clarity?
I had been spinning out of control for some time. There was a lot of really dark stuff going on. I don't think it was really any one thing. I was out of control. People were starting to say I was going to be dead soon, and they were probably right ... Part of rehab involves taking a really honest look at yourself and your actions, and when I looked at myself and my actions, I really didn't like what I saw.
I know there was an intervention.
I had Johnny Knoxville come with most of the crew of 'Jackass' and they came to my apartment and forced me into a psych ward. It wasn't the style where the addict has a choice about whether or not to go. They locked me up in a psych ward, and while I was in there it kind of dawned on me that it was time to do something. It's funny; it's kind of a joke that writes itself, you know you have a drug problem when Johnny Knoxville does an intervention on you.
California has a 51/50 law, where if people are deemed to be harmful to themselves or others you can lock them up for 72 hours in the psych ward. They did that to me. When I got to the hospital and I realized I wasn't going to be able to explain that it was all a big misunderstanding, I became really belligerent and throwing chairs, so they changed my status to 52/50, which means a two week hold. I had two weeks to think about my situation. It only took seven days for me to come to terms with the idea of getting help.
When did you realize you'd hit rock bottom?
I can't say I even really hit my bottom until I'd already been sober for 100 days. After 100 days, the fog really cleared enough for me to realize it was me who needed the favor. That's exactly how it turned out. Really having examined myself and my situation, I felt like I really hated myself, I couldn't forgive myself, I really didn't want to live. I felt suicidal at that point.
So I went into psych ward number two and when I was in there, I was writing in my journal and at the bottom -- after writing about wanting to kill myself -- I wrote this is what we call self-pity. I realized I wasn't suicidal. I just needed to create a new history and stop doing all the things that made me feel so bad.
What is your life like now?
I lead a very simple life now. It's important to me that I water my plants. I take care of two rescue dogs. I volunteer at a nursing home. I live in a two bedroom apartment. I drive a Nissan. I'm mindful about helping other people who are going through similar situations that I went through. That's really the basis. It's learning to help other people and to be concerned. That's really the foundation of recovery.
Steve-O and Jason 'Wee Man' Acuna arrive at the "Jackass 3D" Los Angeles Premiereat Mann Chinese 6 on October 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. "Jackass 3D" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals Mann Chinese 6 Los Angeles, CA United States October 13, 2010 Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.com To license this image (62046195), contact WireImage.com
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