Failure is often part of the process.
“Ultimately, it was my own decision…Like I woke up one morning after a night going like, ‘This is probably not good.’” — Daniel Radcliffe
Most of us as kids wanted to be famous at some point in our lives, as the thought of someone recognizing us on the street and wanting your autograph seemed like the epitome of being someone of worth and stature.
So you can only imagine what it must’ve been for someone like Daniel Radcliffe as the child star of one of the biggest movie franchises ever, as he played the role of Harry Potter over an amazing 10 — year span.
The first film made a whopping $1.022 billion when Daniel was only 12 years old, and the seven additional films pushed the final combined total to $7.73 billion.
What many people often forget about fame and success is that it can come with a dark side of pressure and need to keep up said success to stay in the spotlight, and Daniel admits this was one of the factors that pushed him to drink as he made his way to his 18th birthday.
Daniel mentioned this in an interview once,
“If I went out and if I got drunk, I’d suddenly be aware of there being interest in that because it’s not just a drunk guy, it’s ‘Oh, Harry Potter’s getting drunk in the bar.’”
He admitted that the pressure to live somewhat of a celebrity wild boy life, coupled with the pressure of just continuing the torrid pace of success of the Harry Potter franchise led him to drink to deal with it all.
In 2010, he decided that three years of intense drinking had been too much for him. He could see he was traveling on a dangerous path, as his family has a history of alcoholism, and he was just not able to control himself when he drank at all.
“I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes…There is something in any person who drinks in a way that’s clearly not good for them, something that is attracted to that chaos.”
At the time, he was rather outspoken about his decision to quit drinking in a number of interviews, as he shared the reasoning behind it relating to the pressures of the Harry Potter series ending and just fame in general.
Therefore, many people were rather surprised when in 2012, he was kicked out of an NYC bar for excessive drinking and fighting, and it was clear that he had lapsed in his sobriety.
As he was open about his first attempt, he is as open about his relapse by recommitment by sharing, “It took a few years and it took a couple of attempts.”
There are a few things we can learn from his journey so far.
YOU MUST STAY VIGILANT AND COGNIZANT OF WHAT HELPS OR HURTS
While it’s not entirely clear how Daniel was able to quit the first time around, he recognized that he had to do things a bit differently for it to stick the second time.
Recognizing that cravings were still there from time to time, Daniel decided to add physical exercise to his regiment to help these instead of just relying on pure will — something that has often been touted as a great stress reliever and deterrent to cravings.
Now, whenever he feels any type of craving for a drink, he said he will go for walks for as long as five hours and now works out on a regular basis to give his body a natural dopamine high rather than the artificial one it’s craving.
Also, whereas before he felt he was strong enough to hang out with his buddies around a bar and not drink, he has decided now that he rather not put himself in a position in which he has to use extra willpower to fight the temptation.
He will meet his friends at a restaurant or a bar, but if the drinking becomes a bit excessive, he knows it is time for him to exit.
Understanding boundaries and being self-aware enough to not put oneself in a position to relapse is very important for anyone to make sure one doesn’t keep making the same mistakes
NOBODY’S PERFECT AND CAN DO IT ALONE
Having all the money in the world and access to all of the best doctors and self-help gurus sometimes is not enough to be able to just quit without help.
Daniel admitted to trying to quit numerous times on his own before eventually being able to do so with the help of family and friends.
He said they were able to provide him with “enough perspective on [his] life” to allow him to do so.
If Daniel Radcliffe, someone who had been famous since he was 12, lived an amazing childhood without much to speak of in relation to childhood drama could still have trouble not drinking, then the average person should not beat themselves up either if they can’t quite get it together on their own either.
Daniel said that he often used drinking to just forget the moments of being a child actor and all the pressure that comes with it, and while very few people can probably relate to this exact same scenario, we all have various pressures that bog us down at times.
Therefore, it’s important to give yourself a bit of grace to realize that trying to bare-knuckle the decision to quit on your own and not invite the help of others is a recipe for disaster.
Having a few individuals with whom you can confide in and look to for support when needed is very important to increase your chances of succeeding at sobriety.
A RELAPSE IS JUST A BUMP ON THE ROAD TO SOBRIETY
Now, Daniel’s life is better than ever before.
He’s been sober since 2013 and says that he has no intention of ever going back.
He has rediscovered his love for reading and just recognized that he is a better person sober than he was living the crazy life of a partying celebrity.
“I’d just rather sit at home and read, or go out to dinner with someone, or talk to someone I love, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh.”
Living a more simple life has allowed Daniel to be more in control now and having had the relapse allowed him to come to that conclusion.
Sometimes it takes having tried and failed to be the real catalyst to get us to understand that drinking is not something that can be included in our lives.
This is something Daniel had to come to grips with and completely embrace to be able to move on.
“As much as I would love to be the person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time — that doesn’t work for me. I do that very unsuccessfully.”
The road is different for everyone, but there is no reason to beat yourself if you don’t get it right the first time.
If the great Harry Potter had to take a few tries to get there, I’m sure you’re still an amazing person if you can’t get it just right on the first try either.