Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean Gets Real About Sobriety Journey: “It Never Gets Easier”
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As he marks the second year of being sober, Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean is getting candid about the journey. According to the musician, time does not necessarily make the process easier.
AJ McLean Celebrates Two Years of Being Sober
Talking to People Magazine over the weekend at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas, McLean stated that his life has been “grand” lately. Nonetheless, the DWTS alum also noted that his ongoing sobriety journey isn’t always a comfortable journey.
“It never gets easier, but it just becomes a working part of the mind,” he said. “You have to literally make it an everyday thing whether you make it to a meeting or not,’ he said. ‘I talk to my sponsor every day. I talk to people in program every day.'”
This week, McLean marked the second year of his sober state. Yet, while he’s getting more disciplined, he knew that he needs some “inner work.” Thus, earlier this year, the performer went for a 10-week intensive outpatient mental health program in Arizona.
“I knew I had a window of time, so I said, ‘You know what? I need to do some inner work. The sobriety thing is good,” he said. “I need to go back and do some digging.’ Ten weeks for the rest of my life, I am super grateful for it. It was totally worth it.”
In 2020, McLean revealed how he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. Apparently, the singer’s drug use became uncontrollable then, to the point that he’s already missing Backstreet Boys’ rehearsals. Years back, he was sent to rehab many times, but such programs didn’t work. At the time, McLean confessed that he felt like “living a lie.”
He Would Love Another Las Vegas Residency
In the same interview, the Backstreet Boys singer admitted that their former Las Vegas residency was “not good” for him. Understandably so, because their travels as a band happened during his alcohol-drinking years. Be that as it may, he knows that being drunk is his choice and choice alone.
“It’s not even about geography,” he said. “Addiction goes anywhere you go, so I can’t blame it on a city. Yes, it’s Sin City but that’s some BS.”
Now, that he’s already sober, McLean said he’s more than willing to have another Las Vegas Residency. As he continues the battle towards sobriety, he also shares his strategy to maintain discipline.
“Play the tape out. That’s my whole theory. I play out the tape,” he said. “I know how it’s going to end if I pick up a drink. Now, with the fentanyl crisis, I’ve lost 12 friends in the last two years. It’s terrifying.”
Previously, McLean shared that he decided to get sober when he realized that his estranged wife could smell alcohol in his breath and his youngest daughter could not sit with him. Then, after he competed on Dancing With The Stars, he committed to an overall fitness journey where he dropped 30 pounds, and had a more tone physique.