Cheyenne Jackson Reveals He 'Fell Off the Wagon' After 10 Years Sober: 'I've Been Carrying a Lot of Shame'

“I thought I had it all handled. I thought ‘I got this.’ But I don’t. I am a work in progress,” the actor said after his relapse

Cheyenne Jackson/Instagram
Cheyenne Jackson/Instagram

Cheyenne Jackson reveals he has relapsed after 10 years of sobriety.

On Monday, the 47-year-old actor, who has been transparent about his past alcohol addiction, shared a candid post on Instagram detailing the "shame" he feels after his relapse.

"VULNERABLE is what I'm feeling today," the Broadway vet and American Horror Story star began. "After nearly a decade of sobriety I fell off the wagon. I've been carrying a lot of shame. Scared to share it. 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," Jackson continued. "I took my eye off the ball. 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.' But I don't."

"I am a work in progress. Always," he ended. "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. And I love myself today and that feels really good to say. #progressnotperfection."

Related: Cheyenne Jackson Says His Family Helped Him Stay Sober amid COVID-19: 'I Gotta Be Fully On'

Related: Jamie Lee Curtis Opens Up on Being Sober for 22 Years: 'I Was as Sick as My Secrets'

Jackson's post was flooded with supportive comments as he vowed to work on his sobriety, including messages from Jamie Lee Curtis, Nia Vardalos, Sophia Bush, Harvey Fierstein, his husband Jason Landau, and more.

On Tuesday, the star returned to Instagram to say thank you to those wishing him well.

"Yesterday I put myself on blast and recommitted to my own sobriety and I guess I wasn't anticipating the outpouring of love that I have received," Jackson said in the video, noting that he's read over 2,000 personal DMs, texts and comments. "I just feel so loved and I feel grateful."

"I've always kind of prided myself on being a lone wolf, somebody who doesn't really need anybody, I can do it on my own," the father of two continued. "But as I get older I realize it doesn't really serve me in a lot of ways, and in my sobriety it definitely doesn't serve me because I need people and I need support."

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Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Related: Cheyenne Jackson Celebrates 5 Years of Sobriety After Battle as a 'High-Functioning Alcoholic'

Back in 2014, Jackson spoke to NBC New York about his battle with addiction, calling himself a "high-functioning alcoholic."

"Practically nobody knew, not even my parents," he said at the time. "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.' "

This was especially hard for the out actor "in the gay community," Jackson said, "where most of our interactions involve bars and parties."

When he decided to get sober, Jackson said he struggled with the idea of giving up that aspect of his social life.

"I thought, 'Now my social life is over so what am I going to do?' But I realized, I'm going to be more fun because I'll do the same stuff but I'll remember it. … I've been to every party, met everybody I wanted to meet and done everything I wanted to do. It's time to just grow up and be accountable and have some integrity."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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