John Larroquette's moment of clarity with sobriety

Categories: Benefits, Q&A

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Though John Larroquette gave up alcohol for good thirty years ago, the Emmy and Tony award-winning actor still makes a point of relating that journey at public appearances. This Friday, September 28, Larroquette will be the keynote speaker at a luncheon fundraiser for Arapahoe House, a non-profit organization serving individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. And just off an extended run of the Broadway smash The Best Man, the actor spoke candidly with Westword about his alcohol-free existence for the past three decades.

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Westword: When you chose to get sober, what was the catalyst for you to make that change?

John Larroquette: I just think that most drunks reach a fork in the road; down one road is the next drink or the next high -- and at the end of that, insanity or death. And the other is perchance a moment of clarity that occurs, and one realizes that finally, you have to understand that you have absolutely no control over your life and/or whatever substance it is that you use, be it food, drugs or shopping. And that continuing in the same behavior is never going to change the outcome.

It just happened. A switch flipped and it was done. I was done.

And did you go through Alcoholics Anonymous or a rehabilitation program?

No.

Cold turkey?

How else does one do it? I don't think you can ween yourself off of Cognac -- a pint of it a day. I'm not sure how you ween yourself off something like that. I'll just do a little heroin today, and a little less tomorrow. You know?

As far as any community and support system that can, perhaps, allow one to learn some tools on how to walk through daily life without the medicine that one was taking, I think it is up to the individual to find their own. Certainly, the second word in that group that Bill Wilson started speaks to one's inability to converse about it publicly.

Do you feel like you still battle with feelings of wanting to drink?

Less than zero. And that happened the night I stopped. From that moment, I can, without hyperbole, say that the obsession was eradicated. It was lifted from me that night -- February 5, 1982. It just didn't exist any longer in my lexicon.

Again, I take no credit for that. I'm not exactly a religious person; although born and raised Catholic in New Orleans, one always has the stain of the church -- and I do not use that word derogatorily; the tattoo of the church, perchance is a better word. I'm not a big believer in providence and/or a deity or whatever. So I have no explanation. I wish I did. If I did and could somehow replicate it, I would be battling Bill Gates for the richest man in America.

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Seawell Ballroom

1050 13th St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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