In February of this year, the actor and comedian Rob Delaney celebrated 19 years sober. As part of his social media post commemorating the day, he said, “19 years ago today I was in jail in a wheelchair with 2 badly broken arms. I’d driven a car into a building while blacked out…I’d been trying to quit drinking for years, but it took that accident to make me realize my drinking was deadly to the world at large…The compulsion to drink had become terrifying. Blessedly, there is another way.”
Delaney recalls having struggled with substances from a young age. “Even when I was 16 years old, I thought, ‘Wow, how come all my other friends can just have fun with it?’” he said. “I was starting to black out even then, which is bad. It sucks to wake up and be like, ‘What did I do?’, and then be told and just be disgusted.”
In the past 19 years, the actor has been very candid about his sobriety, both in interviews and his work. His character Rob on the show Catastrophe—which he co-wrote and co-stars in—shows a sober character we don’t often see on TV.
Rather than focusing on the messiest parts of the character’s active addiction, which is where many shows go, he’s already sober right at the beginning of the first episode. Spoiler: in a later season, he has a relapse that unfolds in a very realistic way—not with immediate drama, but with gradual consequences, and people in his life catching on over time.
In 2018, Delaney and his wife lost their two-and-a-half-year-old son to brain cancer. Delaney says sobriety allowed him to face his grief. Just over a year after his son’s death, he reached 17 years sober. He said of the occasion, “This has been a brutal year for my family and me…Had I not been sober it would have been far worse. As it was, I squeaked by. Sobriety allowed me to a reasonably good dad, husband and worker through it all…Sobriety allows me to grieve fully, and grief is an expression of love.”
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build the skills to stay sober through whatever life brings. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.