Dennis Quaid Says Kicking Cocaine Made Things 'Worse'

Sheri Reed

Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid with his son (with Meg Ryan) Jack
With his cocaine-addicted bad boy past, actor Dennis Quaid might very well have been the Charlie Sheen of the early 1980s. Except he kicked the habit after awhile and eventually stopped acting like a jack@ss in public (there's still time, Charlie!).

In a new short essay for Newsweek titled "My Favorite Mistake," Quaid comes clean about his coke addiction and the ups and downs of getting high and getting clean.

In the very short piece, Quaid gives us quite a lot, sharing how he started using cocaine upon landing in Los Angeles in 1974 and how cocaine was even in the movie budgets back then. He contributes cocaine with his inability to handle fame and face life. "You’re basically hiding from life," says Quaid.

The most compelling part of the essay, though, was his admittance that kicking coke didn't immediately make his life better. In fact, he says things got worse. Things certainly didn't change for the better overnight, and this isn't an easy thing for addicts to face or admit for awhile. I mean, it's pretty hard to brag about kicking the habit when it feels so darn awful.

This is such an important experience to share about kicking an addiction. Dealing with life on life's terms is extremely difficult for awhile when you're facing it without your drug of choice for the first time. Some recovering addicts believe that first year or years of sobriety (or without drugs, in Quaid's case; looks like he still may drink alcohol) can feel even more painful than the rock bottom days because you can't lean on your "old friend" anymore to numb the pain. You have to, in fact, feel life for a change.

Of course, that comes with some amazing gifts, too, as Quaid shares:

... that time in my life -- those years in the ’90s recovering -- actually chiseled me into a person. It gave me the resolve and a resilience to persevere in life ... In the end, it taught me humility. I really learned to appreciate what I have in this life.

Has it ever occurred to you that getting off drugs can often feel worse for awhile?


Image via SplashNews

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