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Chris Bauer’s Path to Sobriety and Health

Chris Bauer’s Path to Sobriety and Health

chris-bauer-300His TV alter ego, Sheriff Andy Bellefleur on HBO’s True Blood, has seen his share of mysterious pasts. But in real life, Chris Bauer has been harboring a dark secret of his own.

The actor, 47, has been sober for seven years, following a decades-long battle with drugs and alcohol.

It was a slow-motion catastrophe,” Bauer says “I wasn’t just out of control, I was 100 percent off my path.

Finally choosing to reveal his story is “intuitive and spontaneous,” Bauer says. “I got sober right after I shot the pilot for True Blood. Now that it’s winding down, I’m in touch with how much my life has changed from getting my act together.”

He had his first drink at 14, and very quickly developed an obsession with alcohol, Bauer says.

I think I abused it from the beginning,” he admits. “The idea of taking one drink for me was on par with aliens and Bigfoot. It was always more than one. I drank to change how I felt inside, and that’s basically a one-way ride to oblivion.

As an adult, and despite his growing success as an actor, the abuse continued. Bauer also dabbled in drugs. “Think of me as the person at the salad bar,” he says, admitting that he used cocaine and marijuana. “I took whatever there was to offer.”

The Hollywood scene only contributed to his addiction. “My business obviously collects all sorts of fringe and untraditional personalities,” says Bauer. “It was never hard, whether it was at a dinner party, a nightclub or a premiere, to find somebody to share their drugs with me.”

Still, alcohol remained Bauer’s drug of choice, and his dependence soon went from bad to worse.

Alcoholism is extremely progressive,” he says. “I went from being the life of the party to not being able to make it to the party. All my energy was going into covering how drunk I was, how hung over I was or how quickly I could get out of a situation so I could go have a drink.”

Path to Sobriety

And so, with the guidance of sober friends and aid from 12-step meetings (he never went to rehab), Bauer climbed his way out of addiction. 

It had to get so bad that my willingness to change and allow others to help me change had to override my obsession with drugs and alcohol.” 

Along with the clarity that came with his sobriety, Bauer discovered other positive results. He lost 40 lbs., thanks in part to dedicated workouts with trainer Bobby Strom, and watched his blood pressure and cholesterol levels drop dramatically. 

What’s more, “I can bench press more at 47 years old than I could playing football my senior year in high school!” he says. 

But perhaps the happiest outcome has been a newfound appreciation for life. “It could have been so much worse,” Bauer says. “I have been incredibly blessed. And now I wake up in the morning and smile before I even have a chance to think.” 

The actor stays “tuned up” by remaining dedicated to his program, focused on avoiding relapse. “I keep it fresh because I don’t want to go back there,” he says. “The solitude, the darkness, the inertia, it’s all waiting for me.” 

Calm and clear, Bauer is resolute about the healthy direction his path has followed – and appreciates others who might just be coming out of their own dark depths. 

I’m a regular guy,” he says. “I look like a regular guy, people treat me like a regular guy, I’ve never had that star vibe. And I think there are millions of me who don’t have a particularly glamorous circumstance to pin recovery on. They’re just in the forest of trees. And their stories need to be told.”

Read this entire interview with Chris at People.com

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Lynnpd
Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at http://lynnpdexclusives.com.

16 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    Brave man.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    Way to go Chris, that’s awesome!

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    I think he’s gorgeous.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    One of my favs no matter how he looks! Bravo my man!

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    How brave of him to share his story.  Perhaps it will help others who are in the same dark place Chris once found himself.  Sheriff Andy is one of my favorites on True Blood.  When he and Jason Stackhouse get together … well, their scenes are priceless.

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    Thumbs up!

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    He has given such joy to me. I wish I had the power to make him free.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    Good for you Chris. You are awesome!

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    I love him. Woo hoo good job!

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    Congratulations to Chris; I now have even more appreciation for what he brought to Andy’s on screen struggles with V and alcohol.

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    June 25, 2014

    Weet wow! Going to miss you sheriff Andy

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    June 26, 2014

    He looks absolutely great.

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    June 26, 2014

    Well done, Chris!

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    June 26, 2014

    Powerful words.  All the best, Chris.

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    June 26, 2014

    Now there is a man that has taken control rather be controlled. Good for you Chris.
    You look great and are so very talented. I have enjoyed Andy so much.

    Reply

  16. Avatar
    July 01, 2014

    Yay for Chris!!!  He looks younger now than he did seven years ago.  And now we know why?  He’s healthier!!

    Reply

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