Joe Manganiello On Recovery: Stigma Kept Me From Getting Help Sooner

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Joe Manganiello On Recovery: Stigma Kept Me From Getting Help Sooner

By David Konow 09/12/18

"When I was growing up, when I thought of an alcoholic, I thought of some toothless guy in a trench coat in a basement somewhere. I just never thought that would apply to me."

Image: 
Joe Manganiello

Joe Manganiello, star of True Blood and Magic Mike XXL, has been sober for 16 years. He recently spoke out about his sobriety, and how hard it was to initially get help.

On September 7, Manganiello was honored at the Summer Spectacular Event for the Brent Shapiro Foundation. (Brent, the son of OJ Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro, died of an overdose at the age of 24.)

As Manganiello received the organization’s Spirit of Sobriety award, he told the audience, “Sixteen years ago, I crashed and washed ashore on the banks of sobriety. When I was growing up, when I thought of an alcoholic, I thought of some toothless guy in a trench coat in a basement somewhere. I just never thought that would apply to me. That type of stigma kept me from getting the help that I needed when I knew I needed it.”

Manganiello has been open about his alcoholism in the past.

He told The Huffington Post, “There was a period of about four years where I needed to quit drinking. And the drinking got in the way [of my career]. It was one of those obstacles that I had to get over and once again I needed to clear the road in order for these things to happen, so it really is an inside job. I had to clean up my act and figure that whole situation out. My life was ruined. I was homeless, careless and broke with no career, so yes, it was worth it [to get sober].”

Manganiello told Men’s Health that his problems were “all internal… the drink just helped me to quell all the ill feelings I could remember having since I was a child. I was an addict before I ever picked up a drink.”  

He also told GQ, “Had I not been able to [quit drinking], I’d be dead.”

Manganiello added that when he got sober, he became “the man that I dreamed of being, and the result was I met the woman of my dreams,” referring to Modern Family star Sofia Vergara.

Robert Shapiro told Us Weekly that with the annual Spirit of Sobriety Award, “we honor someone that has been open and honest about their recovery because it serves as an inspiration to others.” 

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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