Elton John is “still standing” at the age of 72, in part because he got help 29 years ago.
The infamous singer just celebrated 29 years of sobriety and took to social media to reflect on his life’s direction.
Sharing a photo of his new Alcoholics Anonymous chip, he recalls 29 years ago when he finally managed to say “I need help.” He also added that he is “eternally grateful” to all of the people in his life that have helped him on his “journey through sobriety.”
Elton John has always been candid about his struggles with addiction, which have been well documented, most recently in the biopic detailing his life and rise to fame Rocketman. John recently opened up at the Cannes Film Festival, talking about what it was like watching his journey on the big screen, which includes details of his addiction, turmoil, and recovery.
He says that he had “lost touch” with the life he led before becoming a superstar. Looking back, John says that he shudders at his behavior and what he was doing to himself.
According to him, he was naive about drugs at the start of his career and didn’t start until his manager brought it into the recording studio in the early 70’s. But initially, he felt like it helped him overcome some of his insecurities.
John says that he had moments where he wasn’t sure he would survive. He would stay up for days at a time. there were times when he was having chest pains, or would be found on the floor having spasms.
After his friend lost his life to AIDS in 1990, Elton John decided to take a hard look at his own life. He knew that he needed to get sober, or else he was going to die. “And I didn’t want to die,” he recalls.
It was then, in July of 1990, that John checked himself into treatment at the Parkside Lutheran Hospital, which houses one of Chicago’s inpatient rehab centers.
Since then, John has made it through three decades of sobriety. And I think I speak for everyone when I say that I’m glad he was courageous enough to ask for help 29 years ago.