I spend a lot of time on here snarking, and I fully stand behind that choice, and (most of) the nonsense things I’ve said, but I want to get real for a second and talk about how proud I am of Zac Efron. Not a sentence I would have imagined myself saying even a year ago, but here we find ourselves.
As you may know, Zac went to rehab earlier this year — what we don’t know is why, necessarily, although that hasn’t stopped people from speculating about it. (Including me, unfortunately.) The word was that he was struggling with addiction to everything from alcohol to cocaine to something called hillbilly heroine, which he allegedly overdosed on at a party. There was a lot of information swirling around, but none of it firsthand, because the whole situation was pretty delicate, and his team kept it under wraps.
But you know what Zac isn’t keeping under wraps? His six-month sobriety chip from Alcoholics Anonymous, which he made into a pendant and wore around his neck at a Lakers game on December 20th. Hurray! People were making noise about the fact that a broken jaw sounded like an intoxication-fueled injury, but according to his chip, Zac is still on a great path to recovery, and I just love that he’s decided to be open about that.
The thing about addiction is that it carries a huge stigma in our society. No one would blame a celebrity if they were suffering from something like cancer, but we aren’t quite at a place yet where people are willing to see those two diseases in the same category. As a result, most people suffer in secret, fearing repercussions if anyone finds out that they need help, and the people who most need our attention and sympathy end up criticized and ridiculed. Which obviously adds a huge obstacle onto their recovery. Totally not fair.
Which is why I’m so glad that Zac is comfortable enough to wear that around. It’s absolutely something to be proud of — every day is a struggle, so six months of sobriety is a huge achievement — and I’m so thrilled he’s treating it that way. Hopefully more people can follow that example!