The Eagles guitarist, Joe Walsh, 72, has been sober for 27 years. Walsh told his story of what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now during the 2018 Founder’s Day Conference, in Akron, Ohio, where recovering alcoholics and addicts celebrated the 83rd anniversary of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Like so many alcoholics and addicts, Walsh felt “different” as a kid. He struggled with attention-deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger’s syndrome.
“I was different that way from the other kids, and because of that I was terrified. I was truly terrified because I felt stupid and alone and that nobody understood. In my late teenage years, I tried to play guitar in front of some people and I couldn’t do it. I was so scared. I could not do it. I hyperventilated. I started shaking. I started crying,” Walsh said in a Billboard.com article.
But once he discovered alcohol, Walsh found his solution.
“My higher power became vodka and cocaine,” he said. “I burned all the bridges. Nobody wanted to work with me. I was angry. I turned into this godless, hateful thing.”
And, again, like so many alcoholics and addicts, what was once Walsh’s solution became his problem. He went to rehab in 1994 and began going to some men’s meetings, where he listened to sober alcoholics with 30 and 40 years clean teach him how they got and stayed sober.
“I met some old timers,” Walsh said in an article in Rolling Stone. “Gradually they showed me that I’m not a unique individual, one-of-a-kind person. I’m just an alcoholic, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was somewhere where I belonged.
“I got sober because of a fellowship of men and women who were sober alcoholics. After a couple years, I talked about [my sobriety] with other alcoholics and tried to help them. The only person who can get somebody else sober is somebody who’s been there and done that. I realized that I do more good showing people that there’s life after addiction.”
Click on the following link to hear Walsh’s full share at the 2018 Founder’s Day Conference: https://youtu.be/vdZ9-rAEyPo.
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