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'I fell off the wagon': Cheyenne Jackson admits feeling 'vulnerable' as he relapses after 'nearly a decade of sobriety'

Cheyenne Jackson said he could 'blame' it on so many upheavals of his life including the sudden death of Leslie Jordan with whom he was pretty close
UPDATED APR 27, 2023
Cheyenne Jackson opens up about his struggles with alcoholism (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Cheyenne Jackson opens up about his struggles with alcoholism (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: Cheyenne Jackson, 47, recently took to his Instagram to admit that he has relapsed after “nearly a decade of sobriety” and that he is feeling "vulnerable.” The father of two started the post by revealing his emotional state as he writes, “VULNERABLE is what I’m feeling today.”

Jackson wrote as he shares he is “scared to share” his experience, “After nearly a decade of sobriety I fell off the wagon. I’ve been carrying a lot of shame. Scared to share it.” But he also knows, his experience “can help someone." He wrote, “But I know it can help someone so here I go. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone who has looked up to me as a sober person so I’ve been just burying it away. I took my eye off the ball.” Jackson, who has been married to Jason Landau since 2014, shares a set of twins with him, daughter Willow and son Ethan.


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The ‘Descendants 3’ star then explains he could “blame” it on so many upheavals of his life including the sudden death of his ‘Call Me Kat’ costar Leslie Jordan with whom he was pretty close, “I stopped doing what I needed to do to keep myself on the path of my personal integrity. I could blame it on Covid. I could blame it on the state of the world. Mass shootings. A nation divided. The death of my co-star. But the truth is, I thought I had it all handled. I thought “I got this.””


He also penned a long “Thank you” note to Jamie Lee Curtis also whom he calls his “support system." He said, “Thank you to my support system. Thank you to @jamieleecurtis and so many others who have been there for me. It means everything to me. If you are out there struggling, you are not alone and there is a solution. I love you.” He concludes the post by saying, “And I love myself today and that feels really good to say. #progressnotperfection.”

Jackson’s struggle with alcoholism

The ‘30 Rock’ star has been recovering from alcoholism and achieved sobriety in 2013. In 2014, he opened up about his fight with alcoholism, as he said he hid his addiction from his close ones, “Practically nobody knew, not even my parents,” he said, before adding, “I always showed up, I knew my lines, I looked okay. [But] I always felt like I was missing out. That’s why I drank and did drugs. I always felt like there was a party I hadn’t been to, or ‘Oh, where is everybody going now.’” He also said it was difficult for an actor “in the gay community,” as he explained, “where most of our interactions involve bars and parties," as per NBC.

After only a year of being sober, he was already feeling better as he said, “I’m more open, I’m more free, I’m less scared, I’m less anxious." He further added, “I was so naive and self-centered before. I was in my own little actor land world where things were very myopic,” reports People.

In 2018, he shared a long post on Instagram marking the fifth anniversary of his achieving the remarkable feat. He wrote during that time, “FIVE YEARS SOBER Over this time I’ve experienced more highs and lows than I sometimes thought I could take. The passing of friends, family strife, life disappointments, fear, anxiety, envy, people-pleasing, fatigue, and ultimately, the birth of my beloved Ethan and Willow followed closely by the death of my beautiful father. Yet through it all, I stayed sober no matter what. I felt ever twinge, every splinter, every heartache. It didn’t break me. I was present for my life and present for those in my life, and for that I am so grateful. Nothing changes if nothing changes. #ProgressNotPerfection.”


In March 2021, the Broadway performer said, “The craving for alcohol has been lifted, thankfully,” before adding, “But yeah, right now, I gotta be fully on. Jason and I have definitely had moments because we’re both sober — that’s where we met, in an AA meeting — we’ve both had moments where we’re like, ‘If we had a glass of wine right now, nobody would blame us.’” He concluded, “It usually involves being with the kids, doing something to get your mind out of that. But yeah, I definitely want relief," as per Page Six.

He also posted a follow-up to his original post where he thanked everyone for supporting him, saying, “I literally just finished reading well over 2,000 DM’s and messages and texts and comments — and I’m talking like detailed and personal, people sharing their stories of experience, strength and love. I just feel so loved and I feel so grateful."


'Anything u need just ask'

Jackson's spouse, Jason Landau, quickly came to his support by saying, "Your power, your truth and your willingness is why I fell in love with you. Today I love you even more." Jackson's 'Julie and the Phantoms' costar Owen Patrick Joyner commented, "This is the exact reason you will forever be a person I look up too. Today you’ve given so many people the ability to accept there shortcomings. The model of a true man, father and friend." The 'Halloween Ends' actress, Jamie Lee Curtis said, “WE ARE ONLY AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS! The truth is anyone in recovery and only has this day sober. The past is irrelevant, and the future unknown," and attached a poem by Kalidasa. Austin Wolf lent support by saying, "22 years for me. Anything u need just ask!"

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