The popular show “True Blood” has launched many of its actors into fame, including Chris Bauer who plays Sheriff Andy Bellefleur. Bauer’s recent success follows a long and dark past that he has only just begun to speak more openly about.
He battled drug and alcohol problems for decades before finally reaching recovered sobriety seven years ago. Bauer admits that his addictions were beyond his control and he strayed far from the path losing sight of his goals. The actor was able to sober up just before shooting the pilot for “True Blood” and much of his success can be considered a result of making the right decision to end his problems with addiction.
The Progression of Addiction
Chris Bauer had his first drink at only age 14 and it wasn’t long before he started to develop a kind of obsession with alcohol. Even at a young age he found it impossible to have only one drink at a time and instead abused alcohol from the beginning. He realizes now that he drank to change the way he felt inside and experience a sense of oblivion.
Even as an adult when he began to get work as an actor his abuse continued and even worsened. His alcohol problem eventually progressed to using cocaine and marijuana or other drugs as long as they were offered to him at a party or nightclub. Being an actor in the Hollywood scene only made his addiction worse because he had access to drugs from all sorts of untraditional personalities.
Although he dabbled in drugs, Bauer’s main issue was with alcohol and his dependence on drinking continued to escalate. Most of his energy was spent trying to cover up how drunk or hung over he was all the time.
Hitting Rock Bottom
Bauer dealt with a sense of denial about his addictions for many years because he believed he was still able to function as a husband and father. His wife became fed up with his behavior after he downed vodka out of a pint glass and his five year old witnessed him drunk for the first time.
She told him to sober up or the marriage would be over and she would take the kids and leave. After his marriage nearly failed Bauer realized he had hit rock bottom and finally made the decision to quit drinking and using drugs. He opted not to go to rehab but instead used a support group of sober friends and regular 12 step meetings which he still attends to this day.
After seven years of sobriety, Bauer has lost 40 pounds and watched his blood pressure and cholesterol drop dramatically. He also has a new sense of clarity after quitting his addictions and a newfound appreciation for life. Bauer feels he was blessed and lucky to be able to sober up before things got worse.
Life As A Sober Person
Chris Bauer has been sober since before shooting the pilot of “True Blood” but he still remains dedicated to his twelve step recovery program and focuses on avoiding relapse. He knows that even after years of sobriety it is still possible to backslide and begin drinking again if you are not especially careful and cautious about your addiction.
He knows that he doesn’t want to go back to that place of addiction with the feelings of darkness and solitude that accompanied it. He remains clear and resolute about his decision to be healthier and appreciate others who are experiencing the same struggle to come out of the darkness of addiction.
In spite of his success and star status following the popularity of “True Blood”, Bauer sees himself as a regular person who needs to share his story of recovery.