One of the public’s favorite stars of the reality show Duck Dynasty, Si Robertson, recently released his book chronicling the dark past of his family entitled “Si-cology: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite Uncle”. The book reveals some of the troubled times that he and his brother Phil experienced before the fame they gained on television as the Louisiana bayou duck hunters. Personal issues such as addiction, mental illness and even suicide attempts affected the family in the past.
When they were young children, Si and his brother had a mother who suffered a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed as manic-depressive. Robertson says that she spent a lot of time in hospitals and in the state mental institution. The book also discusses both Si and his brother, Phil’s struggles with alcohol addiction.
Si drank heavily throughout his young adulthood, especially in the period of time he served in Vietnam. His experience of spending a year in Vietnam was difficult on him mentally and led him to escape the situation through alcohol. He became aware of how much his alcohol consumption was spiraling out of control when he came close to killing an innocent Vietnamese boy and woman. At that point he realized that he had to quit drinking for good when he came back from the war. Si found his spirituality and belief in God helped him to recover from his alcoholism problem.
Phil had his own problems with alcohol and drugs which almost ruined his marriage to his wife Kay. During his 20s Phil worked at a honky-tonk bar and drank heavily, leaving his wife to raise their three children while he was out drinking with friends every night. He was even arrested for seriously injuring a couple during a bar fight. At age 28 Phil, like Si, also came to the realization that he had to quit his alcohol and drug abuse as both brothers became religious and decided to remain sober for good. According to Si, Phil was not a very good person before he found God and religion and finally gave his issues of addiction.
When Si’s son Scott was born, a liver problem caused damage to the child’s brain leading to even more family problems. He had erratic behavior as a child and according to Si, became damaging and out of control. At only age 11, Scott tried to jump out of a second story window. After being taken to a military hospital, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Understanding his disorder made it possible for Scott to lead a healthier and happier life. His son embraces the religious beliefs of his father who he now looks up to and respects as the rock of their family.
In spite of the struggles of the Robertson family, they were able to find fame and fortune through their thriving business known as Duck Commander, producing top of the line duck calls and decoys for hunting. The show Duck Dynasty follows the family’s daily life as they operate their booming business which employs half of their neighborhood. The show’s premiere of the fourth season broke ratings records as their popularity only continues to increase. The story of the Robertson brother’s past proves how much they were able to overcome by recovering from their alcoholism and finding positive motivation through their spirituality. Now running a successful business in the Louisiana bayou and starring in one of the most popular shows on television, the Robertson family has left behind their dark past and moved forward to a more positive future.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.