“Once I confirmed up on set and I received within the make-up chair, I advised all people.”
AJ McLean received candid about his years-long battle with drug habit and recalled how he tried to cover it from his Backstreet Boys bandmates.
In a latest interview with People, the “Dancing with the Stars” contestant opened up in regards to the first time he tried cocaine, which occurred to be the identical evening the pop group was filming a music video.
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“I by no means actually had a want for the medicine, however being an addict, to me, that phrase encompasses every thing,” the 42-year-old entertainer started. “I used to be launched to cocaine actually the evening that we shot the video for ‘The Name.’ It was the primary time I ever tried it as a result of it was a late-night shoot. I used to be with a ‘good friend’ on the time — who’s clearly not a good friend anymore — and supplied it to me. I stated, ‘No.’ Then I caved and I did it.”
“Once I confirmed up on set and I received within the make-up chair, I advised all people,” he continued. “I used to be like, ‘I am freaking out. I am on this. I am on that.’ They have been like, ‘You’ll want to cease. Do not inform the world that you simply’re on medicine proper now.'”
“In some way someway, I saved it a secret from everybody for the subsequent no less than 18 months earlier than the boys caught on, earlier than my household caught on, earlier than my actual mates caught on. I discovered a strategy to actually preserve it underneath the rug.”
In July 2001, the opposite members of Backstreet Boys — Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson — managed to persuade AJ to hunt therapy.
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“Essentially the most essential a part of that dialog was the ultimate factor Kevin stated to me — If I continued utilizing, he stated, ‘I’ll by no means belief you once more. You are useless to me.'”
For the subsequent 20 years, nevertheless, AJ would proceed utilizing medicine and alcohol between bouts of sobriety.
“I’d go to mattress when the solar was rising and I’d get up when the solar was down,” he stated of his time abusing substances. “Like they are saying, the definition of madness, repeating the identical errors time and again anticipating completely different outcomes.”
“I assumed medicine and alcohol would make these emotions of insecurity go away,” he added. “But it surely does not work that approach.”
Calling it his “second of give up,” AJ stated he started to show his life round after one fateful journey final December, when he partied in Las Vegas.
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“I knew the place I used to be going to go get my medicine. I knew the place I used to be going to go get drunk. I knew all of it and I figured, ‘Okay, it is one evening. So long as I do not go previous a sure time and I do not odor prefer it, I can go have a pleasant final hurrah after which come again dwelling. My spouse will not know; every thing’s going to be nice.'”
But it surely did not work out that approach. AJ missed a number of return flights and finally received dwelling reeking of booze.
“What actually hit me was the second my youngest daughter, Lyric, stated to me that evening, ‘You do not odor like my daddy.’ And when she stated that to me, that was it. Sufficient stated. I felt disgusting.”
Now AJ stated he balances his treasured household time with a 12-step program and checking in with a sponsor six occasions a day.
“The silver lining of the pandemic for me is that I can actually work on myself, get to a gathering day by day and construct a basis of restoration earlier than going again on tour subsequent 12 months,” he defined. “As laborious as it’s to say, I’ve zero regrets and am past fortunate to nonetheless be right here. I can genuinely say I really like myself at this time.”
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