Jason Wahler: I Relapsed, I Surrendered And I Am Getting Help

By Victoria Kim 05/03/18

The "Laguna Beach" star revealed on Instagram that he was on the mend after a recent relapse.

Jason Wahler

Former reality TV star Jason Wahler is back on track after a recent relapse. The star of Laguna Beach and The Hills shared his recent struggles on Instagram.

“My name is Jason and I’m an alcoholic-addict,” he said. “I have 39 days of sobriety after being active in my addiction for the past three + years; before that, I had four years of sobriety.”

He lost sight of his recovery, he explained, and paid the price.

“I became complacent and I was blindsided. I am beyond embarrassed,” he wrote in the caption. “At first I was full of shame and guilt, but I am learning to forgive and move forward. I can only hope my pain will be someone else’s gain and I will continue to live one day at a time.

"The truth is this: I relapsed, I surrendered and I am getting help,” he continued. “My hope is that my vulnerability may help to foster humility in those still suffering.”

Wahler’s words reflect his experience working in the recovery industry. He is the founder and owner of Widespread Recovery, a men’s sober living home in Laguna Beach, California.

“I am reaching out to those who would hear and those who need help the most,” he wrote. “If you are active in your addiction, if you are lost or isolated, if your sense of self-worth is as low as mine was, take my hand. We are each a link in a chain and together we are stronger. Surrender. Don’t be afraid to start over. You are worth it.”

Wahler has not shied away from talking about his drinking problem in the past. He told The Fix in a 2011 interview the final straw that led him to seek recovery. “It was realizing that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and one of the big motivations for me was my parents,” he said.

His drinking was putting a strain on them, he recalled. “I was just damaging them emotionally and they couldn’t take it anymore,” he said. “When I heard that, that was one of my key factors. I know they say you’ve got to do it for yourself—but that takes time. I had to do it for them, at first.”

Wahler credits Dr. Drew Pinsky, who he got to know on Celebrity Rehab, with helping him understand that his reality TV life helped “ignite” his alcoholism.

“He said that being young, and being on the TV and the limelight and stuff kind of ignited it,” he said. “I mean, alcoholism’s there—there’s no controlling it. It’s going to come up at some point if you have it, but this lifestyle kind of set fire to it and made it come up a hundred times faster.”

Even at that time—long before knowing he'd have a long road ahead before he’d find peace, or that, on a happier note, he’d meet his wife and have a daughter—Wahler extolled the benefits of recovery.

“I don’t want to sound like an AA guru or anything, but right now I’m just experiencing life in a totally different way,” he said. “I couldn’t tell you what I want right now. I obviously want to be happy and healthy, and get married and have a family somewhere down the line, but right now I’m enjoying life again. I want it to keep going as it’s going, and take it day by day.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr