Actor Brad Pitt has been sober since 2016, following his divorce with actor Angelina Jolie. Pitt is tight-lipped about their divorce, but it’s rumored the couple argued over Pitt’s drinking. However, Pitt hasn’t been private about the fact that he struggled with substance use long before he and Jolie got together.
Before becoming a celebrity, Pitt dropped out of college with only a couple of credits remaining. “I mean, I’m two credits short of graduating college,” he said. “Two credits. All I had to do was write a paper. What kind of guy is that? That guy scares me—the guy who always leaves a little on his plate.”
He attributes his leaving college to excessive drinking and pot smoking—and says those habits continued up until he got sober.
“I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something,” he said. “And you realize that a lot of it is…pacifiers. I’m running from feelings. I’m really, really happy to be done with all of that…I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: you either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.”
Pitt has learned how to embrace his feelings, in part, from other men. After he got sober, he started attending a men’s recovery group. Before that, he had never been in a space where men shared their feelings so freely. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” he said. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
He also publicly attributed his sobriety to friend and fellow actor Bradley Cooper, who himself has been sober since 2004. After Cooper presented Pitt with a Best Supporting Actor award at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala, Pitt said, “I got sober because of this guy, and every day’s been happier ever since.”
Pitt is relieved to be on the other side of his substance use, and tries not to spend too much time regretting the mistakes he’s made. “I’m realizing—as a real act of forgiveness for myself for all the choices that I’ve made that I’m not proud of—that I value those missteps,” he said, “because they led to some wisdom, which led to something else. You can’t have one without the other.”
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 face stress and difficult emotions sober. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.