John Mayer has been sober two years: You forget that not being hungover is an option


John Mayer has been giving a lot of interviews lately to promote his new music. He has a couple of new singles and a new album coming out plus he collaborated with Nike on a collection. He covers Complex Magazine with Jerry Lorenzo, a fashion designer who created the Fear of God label and also has a new collaboration with Nike. The two of them hadn’t met before this profile, but they knew about the other. They talk about fashion and the fact that they’re both sober now. Apparently that’s just a coincidence. It’s nice to hear them bond about it and relate to each other’s sobriety. That’s the takeaway for a lot of outlets. They’re focusing on Mayer as he’s the more famous one, but Lorenzo has some wisdom and experience too.

Both of you guys quit [drinking].

Mayer: Two years on Tuesday for me, man.

Lorenzo: Oh, for real? I’m three years in November. That’s crazy.

What effect has that had on you guys, professionally and personally?

Lorenzo: My family life’s better. My work life’s better. I’m able to focus. But I don’t condemn [drinking]. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I just think that some people can handle it and some people can’t.

Mayer: It’s the most personal thing to people. If I were to tell other people how they could do it, it just is so particular to your own spirit and your own psychology that it’s almost impossible to develop one way of explaining it to someone else. You have to fight really hard to look at it from a critical point of view because it’s constantly pushed on you. Every Friday and Saturday, on social media, there is enabling going on for drinking. What if I woke up every morning on Saturday and Sunday and put my feet on the ground and I just went “not hungover” and put it on social media every day? That would be an influence on people because I think you forget that’s an option. If you look at drinking the way you would look at anything else, which is risk-reward, what am I giving up? What am I getting? It’s some of the worst odds that ever existed…

Lorenzo: Of all time.

Especially when you get older.

Mayer: I just went deep one night, and I remember being like, “What happens if I keep going? I always stop here. What if I keep going?” It was really kind of, oddly, a playful kind of thing. I went, “Oh, I’m done.”

Did you keep going?

Mayer: Oh, I have the most amazing last-night-of-my-life-drinking story. It was Drake’s 30th birthday party, and I made quite a fool of myself. It took me weeks to stop doing this every morning I woke up. And then I had a conversation with myself. I remember where I was. I was in my sixth day of the hangover. That’s how big the hangover was. I looked out the window and I went, “OK, John, what percentage of your potential would you like to have? Because if you say you’d like 60, and you’d like to spend the other 40 having fun, that’s fine. But what percentage of what is available to you would you like to make happen? There’s no wrong answer. What is it?” I went, “100.”

[From Complex]

US Magazine reminds us that Mayer told Rolling Stone in 2017 that “drinking is a f’ing con” and that he was always trying to regulate himself. He also marked his one year anniversary sober, but I largely ignore him so I missed it. I can relate so much to his story. As I often mention, I’ve been sober almost two and a half years. Some days I wake up and realize that I no longer have that moment where I wonder how much I drank the last night and what happened. I highly recommend Smart Recovery’s free tools, particularly their cost benefit analysis worksheet for using vs. quitting. It’s just a simple table but it helped me realize that all the benefits of drinking are short term. Mayer nailed that part of it, that drinking robs you of your potential. He’s also right about the social aspects of drinking, and how it’s hyped so much and becomes the default weekend activity. (Also, f-ck all those stupid “mommy needs wine,” “you make mommy drink” memes. Those are the worst.) I had to change the way I socialized and I had to make new friends but it was so worth it. Mayer is an a-hole about a lot of things, but on this issue he’s right and he’ll hopefully inspire others to make a change. As Lorenzo mentioned, there are people who can have a couple of drinks and stop, but for those of us who can’t, abstinence is the best option.

Here’s John telling the story about Drake’s birthday party:

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Photos credit: WENN and via Instagram

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23 Responses to “John Mayer has been sober two years: You forget that not being hungover is an option”

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  1. Harryg says:

    Sorry but that ad is so bad, as if Mayer just let out a silent killer.

  2. KatieBo says:

    Congrats on 2.5 years, Celebitchy!! You’re amazing!

    I’m just over 4.5 years and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
    The thing about potential is so true. When I was in the throes of addiction I was so, so cognizant of the time slipping by and the potential wasted and it really fueled that terrible cycle. I still can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished since getting sober. It might not always be easy but it is always worth it.

    I love what he says about it being a deeply personal experience, too. I can tell you what worked for me, but I can’t tell you what will work for you. I also can’t say that any solution is wrong or bad, because really, it’s just not mine. To each their own. Funnily enough, I find the people who have the strongest opinions about acceptable recovery methods are people who do not need them/employ them. Go figure!

    Good for both of them.

  3. savu says:

    I know he is totally an a-hole, but I’ve loved him and his music since I was in middle school. He’s my hall pass 😂 I find him so poignant in times like this, when he wants to be.

  4. MaryContrary says:

    I had to give up alcohol about a year ago because of a medication I take. At first I really missed it, and I have friends who it really bugged that I had stopped. “Oh, so you can’t go out and drink with us?” Uh, I’ll have a club soda with lime and you have whatever you want. What’s it to you??!? At one point, I went off the meds and could drink-and I just didn’t want to. I love that I don’t need alcohol as a social crutch anymore, that I don’t think “omg-what did I say to so and so last night?!” and that I don’t feel fuzzy and gross in the morning. I wasn’t an alcoholic, and I didn’t binge drink, but I definitely “needed” a cocktail or glass of wine for social events.

    • Jen says:

      People do get so defensive. My mom stopped drinking and she orders a cranberry and soda now so people will just leave her alone instead of badgering with “ONE glass of one, just ONE!”

      Also thought John was spot on with when people find out you’re sober, they immediately start talking about how they “barely” drink.

  5. Becks1 says:

    It’s nice to hear celebrities talk about sobriety and in a way that I think a lot of people can relate to. I’m deep in “mommy needs wine” culture (meaning that culture seems targeted at my age bracket, etc) but I do know more and more people who are stepping back from alcohol and saying “this isn’t for me anymore.”

  6. girl_ninja says:

    Good for John and getting healthy. I still don’t like his David Duke d*ck tho.

  7. Eliza says:

    Congratulations on 2 years!!!

    I stopped drinking before I got pregnant, and i am still nursing so it’s been almost 2 years since my last drink. I don’t miss it. I was already barely drinking so I had no tolerance, but with certain friends who drank I would not regulate and end up in the toilet.

    The only odd part of not drinking is the social situations. People give me a look and I feel the need to explain I’m nursing. When it shouldn’t be a big deal if I don’t want alcohol. I shouldn’t need an excuse. I order iced tea usually so I can cheers with something (water being bad luck).

    • Thirsty Hirsty says:

      A virgin Long Island Tea is my go to LOL! I did not know that cheering with water was bad luck. Oh dear…still thinking about it…we are what 80% water ourselves. I’m gonna go with ‘superstition’ about water being bad luck, otherwise I’ve ruined a lot of lives….

  8. KLO says:

    Maybe John is just growing up. Either way, good for him. I think it`s great he went so into detail about his reasoning and introspection about quitting. You can also apply it to every other addictive, compulsive behaviour like spending money, using social media too much, not cleaning your house enough, being out of shape.

    He touched me with this subject and inspired me to be better. Well done John!

  9. Kristen says:

    I love John Mayer and I applaud his recovery from alcohol. But is he ‘sober?’ I thought he still smokes pot and other things? To me, that’s not sober.

    • AnneC says:

      Yeah, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve read all of Andy cohen’s books and he and John Mayer are good friends and there’s defintely a lot of pot smoking. Curious if that is allowed in a program like AA?

      • Thirsty Hirsty says:

        I’m kind of the “one thing at a time” school of addiction recovery. Pot and cigarettes are often the last to go….if I had tobacco now, I would get higher than I would if I smoked a bowl of pot….it’s been over 20 years since I smoked tobacco and not quite 24 hours since I smoked a bowl…

  10. Amelie says:

    I could easily stop drinking honestly and not miss it. I am not a huge drinker to begin with so this wouldn’t be some huge sacrifice. I do not drink at home on my own. Not judging people who do but I have never been one to stock up on alcohol unless I am hosting people. If I do drink, it’s a glass of wine/one cocktail and that is it. And I really hate ordering wine at restaurants because they give you WAY too much. It is ridiculous how much wine they pour you in the US. Half the time I say “stop” and the server always looks at me funny and keeps pouring. I don’t need half a wineglass of wine! A quarter of the glass is just fine thanks. It’s the same with food–they give you too much in the US. Good for leftovers but I can’t bring home a leftover glass of wine, as much as I’d like to.

  11. Miss Gloss says:

    It IS a con. I can relate to a lot of what he’s saying too. I’m a year sober on New Year’s Day myself. I just got tired of it. Of feeling crappy and embarrassed for my behavior the night before. It wasn’t he’s for me either which is crazy to me. I think I’ve missed drinking maybe twice. Hip Sobriety helped me look at it differently and it was so refreshing. She has a podcast called Home as well. Love her. She said not drinking is an act of rebellion. She also said once you quite drinking, you can chase all of your dreams. Write that book. Go after that job. Start that business. She’s completely right. Anyway, ❤️

    • Esmom says:

      Congrats to you and to CB and all the other commenters who’ve made the choice to go alcohol-free. It’s been about 7 years for me. I decided I was done one day when the “mommy needs wine” brigade was out in full force on Halloween, accompanying their kids trick or treating while getting sloshed. Dads, too. It just hit me that people’s dependence on alcohol had become so acceptable and it felt so gross and wrong.

      My son is a freshman in college and he is highly disturbed by the con. He said everyone — in class, at the gym, in his dorm, at athletic events — talks constantly about how much they’re going to drink, or how much they drank. Hangovers seem to be badges of honor. He’s trying to find people who don’t like to party in that way and it hasn’t been easy.

      My other son is going to college next year and he’s an admirer of Mayer’s music. I need to share this with him, as I worry that he could easily succumb to the party crowd.

  12. zia says:

    Ummmm… I saw (with my own 2 eyes not even 5 feet away) John drinking wine in Colorado after the Dead and Company shows this summer at our hotel. I also know from a personal friend that he takes a lot of adderall and then xanax to go to bed. Is that SOBER??? hmmmm…

  13. StrawberryBlonde says:

    I was never a big drinker but in 2013 I joined Weight Watchers and the points for more than one glass of alcohol just did not make sense for me. So I cut back even more. I do like a glass of red wine every now and then (maybe one every few months but never at home by myself). Now I am 22 weeks pregnant and i really have had 0 drinks since our wedding last February bc we started trying right away. I did have one half glass of red wine at a wedding shower in June bc I had just had a miscarriage and was like “F it I am 100% not pregnant so I am having this wine.” But it made my stomach upset so I did not finish it. Happily we conceived again 2 weeks later. DH is a tee-totaler and always has been. He is also celiac so he cannot drink beer, rye, scotch or most vodka. And he doesn’t like wine and cider. If he has a drink (once per year) it is amaretto and coke. And only then if the bartender is using a clean shot glass.

    I dated an active alcoholic for a bit (he hid it well for a long time) and that was very traumatic (for him I am sure the alcoholism is traumatic but also for me as his partner it was awful on my mental health). That opened my eyes to addiction. I also really hate the whole “mommy needs wine” subculture. Talk about enabling.