Stereotypes are a part of life and there’s no denying it. For those who suffer from addiction- whether the individual or loved ones- those stereotypes are almost comical. Ask any of the hundreds of thousands of people in recovery who is at risk for addiction, and the answer is simple- anyone. From young kids to elderly adults and everywhere in between, addiction truly does not discriminate. This is a fact that is obvious to anyone who has set foot in a hospital or Substance Abuse Treatment center and seen the wide variety of people asking for help to put their lives back together. Still, that doesn’t make it any less surprising when we see a person who doesn’t fit the mold of what we think an addict is seeking sobriety.
Success Led to Rock Bottom
Any fan of country music will immediately recognize the name Brantley Gilbert. With chart-topping hits such as “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “The Weekend”, Gilbert’s celebrity is so huge that it even crosses genres to those who have never flipped to the Country station on the radio.
The Georgia native is the epitome of a Southern Gentleman; he loves his mother, football and God. His wife is a school teacher, and he has two godchildren that are his entire world. Soon, he will add a child of his very own to the mix, and “father” to his already impressive resume. With all that said, it may come as a huge shock to anyone to learn that Gilbert will soon be celebrating another major milestone: being 6 years sober from drugs and
It was 2011 when Brantley Gilbert checked himself into rehab for the final time. Gilbert had two back to back singles off his record, Halfway to Heaven, which rocketed the singer into stardom, but with success came even more substance abuse. He had a serious addiction to pills and Alcohol and didn’t know where else to turn. He had drunk himself into the liver and pancreatic issues and had spent time in the hospital for Alcohol-related health problems before checking in to a treatment program in Tennessee, where he had moved to pursue his songwriting.
It was the beginning of the end for Gilbert, and even still his willingness became fleeting when the star decided to check himself out of treatment after only a few days. After medical and clinical staff tried to talk him into staying to no avail, one employee spoke the words that would end up changing Gilbert’s life: “Stay one more day, there is someone we want you to meet.”
The following day, Gilbert found himself sitting across the room from Country music superstar, Keith Urban. Urban, a fellow recovering addict in the music industry, talked to Gilbert about his concerns. He admitted to being afraid. He didn’t know if he could be a Rockstar and sober if he could write sober if he could connect with fellow musicians and fans sober.
His brand was built around being the life of the party, the trouble maker, a wildcard. How could he be the person he had been without the Alcohol, without the pills? He couldn’t, as Urban pointed out to him. Urban, who has been sober for 11 years, assured Gilbert that, while his life wouldn’t be the same, it could be better. He related his experiences with sobriety, assuring him that he is now a better writer, a better performer, and most importantly, a better man. The talk worked, and Gilbert conceited to stay in treatment for the remainder of his stay.
The Gifts of Sobriety
To this day, if you ask Brantley Gilbert, he will tell you that Keith Urban saved his life. The star was able to stay sober and go on to have an amazing career, continuing to put out hits with every album, with a little help from Keith Urban. In Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12th step says, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to Alcoholics and to practice these principals in all of our affairs”. The story of Gilbert and Urban is an amazing example of the 12th step working to help others in need.