I had been sober for five years when I had a slip and started drinking again last August. I had just finished the manuscript of my book, my one-man show was about to air on HBO, and we had a reality series in the can for Fox Sports. I was not accustomed to all that success in an arena other than boxing.
I have such a negative self-image that I just expect bad things to happen to me. And even though I hadn’t been using for five years, all that time I just didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. I was holding secrets from my loved ones, things that I had to get off my chest because I was dying inside. That’s the worst feeling in the world, keeping things to yourself. When I resolved those issues, through therapy and by talking honestly with my family, I felt like a new man. When I relapsed in the past, I would keep getting high until I was in a car accident or got arrested. But this time, after drinking for two or three days, I came back. I didn’t wait for an intervention. I just got right back on the wagon. After years of therapy, I had learned not to beat up on myself. I remembered that relapse is a part of recovery.
This is the best I’ve ever felt. I’m on the pathway to humility, fully aware that you can’t rule until you’ve served. I’m looking forward to a glorious 2014, when all of our best-intentioned resolutions become realities.