Jeff Daniels’ journey to sobriety has been anything but easy.
“I had just turned 50, which is a speed bump, and at 80 miles per hour,” the 61-year-old recently told WNYC’s “Death, Sex & Money” about his final bender before quitting drinking for good.
“And I hadn’t drank for 14 years, cold. Just cold turkey. Just quit … I was two months into 50 and I was checking into a hotel room in some city. I’m throwing the suitcase on the bed and I hear a voice behind me. And it’s me, clear as day say, ‘Don’t you think you’ve punished yourself enough?’ And I stopped. I said, ‘Yeah, yeah I have.’ Mini bar, here we go. Three months later I was done.”
After that short period off the wagon, Daniels decided to seek professional help.
“One was trying to do it on my own and the second time was, you can’t do this on your own,” he said. “You need help, you need some people who know a hell of a lot more about this than you do, Mr. Smart Guy. It’s in my family, which I came to learn.”
He added that getting sober helped him reconnect with his wife of 37 years, Kathleen Treado, and family.
“I just wasn’t asleep on the floor at 7:30 at night and the kids are running round and she needs help,” he said. “It didn’t need to be part of my life.”
Daniels recently received a 2016 Tony nomination for best leading actor in a play for his work in “Blackbird.”