Tom Holland has been sober for a year and a half, ‘happiest I’ve ever been’

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We know that Tom Holland is taking a year off of acting after his grueling experience making The Crowded Room TV show for Apple TV+. He said the experience broke him and he needs some time to recover. But acting isn’t the only thing he’s taking a break from. Tom recently shared on a podcast that he’s been abstaining from alcohol for a year and a half after realizing he had an addiction to it. I feel like his story is super relatable even though he is this very famous person. He says he wasn’t able to give it up successfully until he became more aware of his reasons for relying on alcohol in the first place, which included social anxiety. He started with dry January and then just challenged himself to keep going, and now he’s been sober since January 2022.

Tom knew he had a problem: “I was definitely addicted to alcohol, not shying away from that at all,” the actor, 27, revealed on the July 10 episode of “On Purpose with Jay Shetty.” “The Crowded Room star challenged himself to “dry January” in 2022, giving up alcohol after a boozy holiday season. During that month, Holland said, “All I could think about was having a drink … I was waking up thinking about it. I was checking the clock, when’s it 12 p.m.? It just really scared me,” he admitted.

He pushed through until his birthday: Holland proceeded to “punish” himself with another month sober and ultimately challenged himself to quit drinking until his birthday on June 1, 2022. “By the time I got to June 1, I was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” he recalled. “I could sleep better. I could handle problems better, things that would go wrong on set, that would normally set me off, I could take in my stride. I had so much better mental clarity. I felt healthier, I felt fitter.” After that realization, Holland began to question, “Why am I so enslaved by this drink? Why am I so obsessed by the idea of having this drink?”

Why he was so drawn to alcohol: The “Spider-Man” star concluded that a lot of his draw to alcohol was to “feel more comfortable in a social environment.” “I would look back and recognize that I would go to events for work, and I can’t enjoy myself until I’ve had a few beers, and I just felt so much pressure,” he said. Similarly, he felt like he couldn’t’ refrain from having a drink while out with friends or watching rugby games in public settings. Holland shared that he had made previous attempts at quitting alcohol, but this time was different because he started addressing the reasons he felt like he needed a drink.

[From Yahoo]

I know how Tom feels when it comes to social anxiety. There are certain situations like parties or concerts that I find very challenging to enjoy without a drink to take off the edge. I think my senses and nervous system get overstimulated easily in crowded places. But I am so proud of Tom for being honest with himself that alcohol had gone beyond an occasional crutch to something he was craving by early afternoon. It’s very difficult to acknowledge that you have a problem but nothing will improve without first facing the truth. This story also puts his comments about filming The Crowded Room into perspective. That show started filming in March 2022, so that would have been about two months after Tom stopped drinking. I could imagine that in the beginning of filming, he might still have been struggling with sobriety and going through a hard time. In the podcast episode, he mentions that he avoided social situations during the early days of quitting drinking because he didn’t want to be tempted at restaurants or events. He describes really feeling the benefits of sobriety by June of that year. But pursuing a huge lifestyle change like that, and working on a demanding TV show? That would be a lot for anyone, and I’m really impressed he’s done it all. It feels like a lot of people in my generation and younger (I’m a young-ish millennial) are questioning alcohol and the outsized place it has in our culture. I’m someone who loves a craft cocktail on a Friday night, but I’m happy to see sobriety being normalized.

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Photos credit: Getty,, Cover Images and Apple Press

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16 Responses to “Tom Holland has been sober for a year and a half, ‘happiest I’ve ever been’”

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  1. M says:

    Well if he looks at sobriety as punishment, he’s just going to end up drinking again. I hope he’s in therapy. He seems to be wound pretty tight as it is.

    • acha says:

      I guess people can say whatever they want on here while anonymous, but that’s gotta be one of the least warm-hearted comments I’ve read.

    • Ameerah M says:

      This is a really crappy comment. Nowhere in his comments has he stated that he sees sobriety as a punishment. He was being honest about how he felt in the beginning and what he’s worked through.

    • Blithe says:

      I read the whole paragraph, and what stands out to me is how Holland moved from “punish” to describing in detail being the happiest he’s ever been in his life, feeling healthier and fitter. Good on him — for getting to a place where he feels so well and so good about himself!

  2. Good for him for recognizing he had a problem and dealing with it. He should be very proud of himself. I wish him well.

  3. HeyKay says:

    Congrats to him for seeing he had a problem and taking action to get it under control.
    Sobriety is always worth it!

  4. Basi says:

    Thank you for covering this. I’m interested in sobriety and tried to quit and did for a few months. I’m back to drinking even tho it’s “just” one or two. It’s really hard. I enjoy it but recognize when I’m not drinking I sleep better and handle issues better. I’m just not sure of myself.
    Anyway kudos to him. A year and a half plus a heavy workload is remarkable.

  5. Flower says:

    I can see exactly what he means because the drinking culture in the UK is unmatched by any other country I have ever visited or lived in.

    Social interactions revolve around alcohol and getting drunk is seen as funny.

    Well done to him.

    • bettyrose says:

      I read at one point that during the Thatcher years the price of beer in the UK was heavily subsidized, ostensibly to keep the poor and disenfranchised complacent.

  6. tigger says:

    February 2022 Uncharted came out after SpiderMan came out in December 2021. Those were both huge movies.

  7. Ann says:

    I quit January 2022 as well. LOVE hearing celebs talk about sobriety. I really relate to him saying “I could handle problems better”. I tried a few times to quit before finally stringing this year and a half together. A game changer for me was the realizing that my alcohol addiction is as black and white as the fact that I have blue eyes. It’s a fact. It’s not going to change. Regardless of what type of alcohol I’m drinking, or how hard I try to moderate, etc. Surrendering to that fact has made all the difference for me personally. Anyway, good for Tom!

  8. Bettyrose says:

    I’m amazed at people getting sober in their 20s, but I didn’t start drinking in earnest until my mid 30s. I can see how The Crowded Room was challenging to film. Without spoilers it was a demanding role.

  9. Blithe says:

    Reading through this post reminds me of how startled I was when I first went to college — and encountered a culture that revolved around alcohol, and people who seemed to use drinking alcohol for fun or even to feel their version of “normal”. It feels so odd to me that things that should be enjoyable in and of themselves are experienced by so many of us as stressful — often catastrophically so, and coping mechanisms — some healthy, some not — have just been built in to help manage the stress — rather than directly addressing the sources of the stress themselves.

  10. butterflystella says:

    Another former drinker, here. Spent the last half of my 20s and my 30s partying, socially drinking and binge drinking. When I turned 40, I’d had enough because hangovers became so bad. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t addiction because I didn’t drink home alone and didn’t wake up wanting to drink. I just “toughed it out” for the day and started drinking after work again. I still have a drink or two occasionally but I mostly don’t want to.

  11. Emmy Rae says:

    He seems quite young to have worked through all of that so gracefully. Well done, Tom.