John Mayer Celebrates One Year Without Alcohol

John Mayer Celebrates One Year Without Alcohol

By Paul Fuhr 10/26/17

“One year ago today, I decided to give drinking a break, A very personal thing for everyone. For me, a constant return on investment."

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John Mayer

John Mayer’s Twitter account has seen the “Gravity” singer-songwriter argue about gun control, consider the differences between plain and peanut M&Ms and, most recently, an exchange of flirty words with Nicki Minaj. Mayer’s tweet on October 24, however, was as deep and personal as any of his adored song lyrics: the Grammy winner shared that he’s officially celebrating 365 days without alcohol.

“One year ago today, I decided to give drinking a break,” Mayer told his 1.2 million Twitter followers. "A very personal thing for everyone. For me, a constant return on investment.” Mayer, who just turned 40 in October, later added: “I post this because I want people to know that 'that's enough for now' is on the menu, so to speak.”

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Mayer revealed that he was “entering cannabis life,” replacing his drinking with weed. “I put [marijuana] where drinking used to go, and the quality of life has gone up considerably. Drinking is a fucking con,” he said. “How much is enough? Every time I drank, I was looking for some sort of regulated amount. It always feels wrong for me. I always feel like I went overboard. ‘I said two, now it’s three, now we’re at four?’”

According to Mayer, his drinking hadn’t progressed into full-blown alcohol use disorder or troubles with the law, but it certainly never made him feel comfortable. “I never had a serious issue with it, but I remember looking around going, ‘This feels rigged. I’m taking a break.' There’s never an amount that felt like I was succeeding at life. It always felt wrong.”

Interestingly, Mayer draws a line between his past drinking and his current marijuana use. “I was always the guy saying that I didn't like altered states. Once you know who you are, then it becomes OK,” he told Rolling Stone. “I'm much more open-minded to small changes in consciousness. I remember every trip I ever took. I remember every thought I ever had when I laid there.” 

In recent years, Mayer has stepped away from the spotlight, going so far as to move to Montana. A New York Times profile on the singer noted that Mayer’s self-imposed exile followed the one-two punch of two infamous interviews in 2010 that very nearly torpedoed his career. Between a Rolling Stone story where he explicitly detailed his sexual proclivities, to a Playboy interview where he referred to ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm” and “crack cocaine,” Mayer endured an immediate backlash that he hadn’t anticipated.

“I’ve inherited a younger man’s reputation,” he said in the Times story. “You can even break ‘bad boy’ into good bad boy and bad bad boy—I somehow managed to become a bad version of a bad boy.”

A recent GQ Style interview found Mayer more centered than ever. “The reason I'm so happy now is because a lot of expectation that I had for myself was probably a little bit unnecessary. I have a perfect image of ambition and reward for my life right now," Mayer said—and it’s a life that doesn’t involve alcohol whatsoever.

As the singer-songwriter enters his second year of sobriety, Mayer hasn’t only come a long way from his past, but it’s clear that his future is a wonderland.

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Paul Fuhr lives in Columbus, Ohio with his family and two cats, Vesper and Dr. No. He's written for AfterParty MagazineThe Literary Review and The Live Oak Review, among others. He's also the host of "Drop the Needle," a podcast about music and addiction recovery. More at paulfuhr.com. You can also find Paul on Linkedin and Twitter.

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