On February 7, 2015, Gregg Jarrett returned to the anchor desk at Fox News, resuming a deeply promising career covering such important stories as the murder trial of George Zimmerman, the inauguration of Pope Francis, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and presidential elections from 2004-2012. But this time, as he said in an interview with Mark Joyella for TVnewser, "I feel healthy for the first time in more than a decade."
In the hiatus, he had confronted a struggle with alcoholism, and feels that "had [the addiction] continued, I would have self-destructed completely." In hopes that other people can learn from and be encouraged by his experience, Gregg Jarrett recently made the courageous decision to speak publicly about his struggle with addiction, and how the support of his boss, Roger Ailes, helped him make it through.
In April 2014, Gregg Jarrett was filmed slurring his words together and showing other signs of being drunk during a broadcast, and admitted he had been drinking when questioned about it. Now, he admits that he had struggled with alcohol addiction for a long time, but he hid that fact from others, and resisted seeking help "because I was too embarrassed."
The point where things got so bad he could no longer hide them was the point he began to become honest with himself. Shortly thereafter, he took time off to pursue recovery, checking into a rehab center.
Unfortunately, like many people in early recovery, he relapsed, as the transition from the protected recovery environment to familiar temptations felt like too much to handle. His "rock bottom" experience came when he was arrested at an airport bar in Minnesota, all of it was embarrassingly caught on camera and widely distributed online. In an interview "When I saw the videotape, I was heartbroken, because that's not me, that's not who I am. And yet, through alcoholism that's what I've become."
A supportive relationship
According to Jarrett, he received tremendous support from his boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. In spite of a failed attempt at sobriety, Ailes told Jarrett that "we can beat this," helping him to get admitted to a clinic. Jarrett was deeply impacted by that language "not you, but we can beat this."
After months of early recovery, when he successfully came back to work, Gregg said that Ailes was "the first to congratulate me...He picked up the phone and said, you look great! You were fantastic! Good story. How do you feel?'" Gregg also said he had received a lot of support from his family as well. Although he was "heartbroken" thinking about what his arrest did for his wife and two daughters, they responded with expressions of love and a commitment to stand by him no matter what.
Jarrett is continuing to work on his sobriety through support group meetings, therapy as well as regular meetings with his boss and sponsor. Asked for comment, Ailes reported that helping Gregg Jarrett was "the Christian thing to do, [and] the right thing to do."
The importance of relationships
The incredible level of support Gregg Jarrett received from both his family and Roger Ailes has been vitally important in helping him with the challenges of recovery and maintaining sobriety. One of the most effective tools in helping maintain sobriety is supportive and healthy interactions with people who can be an encouragement in recovery.
If you are struggling with maintaining your recovery, seek out support from people who will both hold you to your commitments, and give you a safe space for honestly discussing your feelings. These interpersonal relationships can make untold difference in a successful recovery.