16 Feb Star Stands Up for His Sobriety

You can imagine how hard it would be to stay clean and sober in Hollywood, especially if you have a history of addiction. We see the evidence of this difficulty time and time again in the gossip mags, as celebrities continually fall back into patterns of addiction. Watching all of this backsliding can be very discouraging, especially for those who are struggling with addiction or in the early stages of recovery. It’s so refreshing when we see a high-profile person get a handle on their addiction, which is why this story in Vanity Fair about Bradley Cooper is like music to our ears.

Stuck in the Mire

Bradley Cooper grew up with a comfortable life in an upscale neighborhood. He is close with his parents and graduated from Georgetown with an honors in English before completing a Master’s program at the Actor’s Studio Drama School. As Cooper’s acting career began to ramp up though, so did his drinking and drug use, and he soon found that addiction was taking the wheel. After an out-of-control night where Cooper purposely banged his head against the concrete to show friends “he was tough,” he decided enough was enough and turned his life around. Cooper has been sober since August 2004, and he hasn’t let anything come between him and recovery since.

A Strong Sense of Self

Cooper says that time and maturity have made it possible for him to live a successful, sober life. The black and white attitude of his 20s has been softened by a recognition of the grays in this world that require understanding and compassion. He has developed a strong sense of self that helps to keep him on track in a world where everyone is constantly voicing their own opinions. Cooper said, “…The bottom line is that all I got is me, so it’s about time to stop trying to be something that I think you would want me to be. Or that would give me what I think I need. As you get older, thank God, your body deteriorates, but your soul sort of flourishes.”

Attacking Life Sober

Even when Cooper’s sobriety is put to the test, he comes through with flying colors. Cooper needed to gain about 30 pounds of pure muscle for the movie American Sniper, and only had about 3 months to do it in. He knew stimulants and other drugs would help him to accomplish this task, but was worried about the effect that would have on his sobriety. He said, “I did it naturally because I’ve been sober for 10 years and didn’t want to do anything. …I didn’t know if I would be able to do it or not.” Cooper trained several hours a day and ate 5,000 calories a day. By the end of the 3 months, he’d gone from 185 lbs. to 220, and could deadlift 415 lbs, 5 sets, 8 reps. He found a way to accomplish his goals without compromising his sobriety, and made a success of acting in the role of his life because of it.

Author: Chasity Edwards

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