Charlie Sheen Is One Year Sober

By Kelly Burch 12/14/18

Charlie Sheen announced his sober milestone on Twitter this week.

Charlie Sheen announced his sober milestone on Twitter this week.

After one of the most well-publicized relapses in history, actor Charlie Sheen revealed this week that he has been sober for one year. 

Sheen, 53, posted a picture of his one-year AA chip on Twitter, writing, “so, THIS happened yesterday! a fabulous moment, in my renewed journey. #TotallyFocused.”

It’s an important step for Sheen, who has a long and complicated history with both substance abuse and recovery. In 2016, Sheen spoke with Dr. Mehmet Oz, who asked how many times the actor has tried to stop drinking. 

“About 2,000,” Sheen said, according to People. “There was a stretch where I didn’t drink for 11 years. No cocaine, no booze for 11 years. So I know that I have that in me.”

Sheen said he initially relapsed after receiving an HIV diagnosis in 2012. 

“It was to suffocate the anxiety and what my life was going to become with this condition and getting so numb I didn’t think about it,” Sheen said. “It was the only tool I had at the time, so I believed that would quell a lot of that angst. A lot of that fear. And it only made it worse.”

Sheen told Oz then that he is committed to helping find a cure for HIV and wants his children to see that he inspired others, despite his demons. 

“They’re going to see that dad is a true hero. That he helped a lot of people and continues to help people who can’t help themselves,” Sheen said.

He added that when he was using he was “hammered, fractured, crazy,” but in recovery he is “focused, sober, hopeful.”

Sheen’s father, Martin Sheen, who is in long-term recovery himself, has spoken about supporting his son through the tough times but also knowing when there is nothing left to do. 

"What he was going through, we were powerless to do much, except to pray for him and lift him up," Martin said in 2015.

However, once Sheen was ready for help, his father was able to draw on his recovery and AA experience to help his son. 

"The best way to heal is to help healing someone else, and it takes one to know one, so you can appreciate what someone's going through if you've gone there yourself," Martin said in September of this year. 

He added that getting sober in the spotlight adds another challenge to an already fraught situation. 

"The bigger your celebrity, the more difficult it is to lead an honest life, because your past is always present," Martin said. "I think today makes it that much harder for people because there's no privacy. I think that the idea of anonymity is very important to the [recovery] program, and it has an energy all its own."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.