Brad Pitt was widely criticized during the divorce. His alcohol addiction was seen to be a reason for the split.
A tragic and heartbreaking event may sometimes give us more clarity in life. It might show us the reasons for our downfall and help us set it straight. Brad Pitt had such a realization after his relationship with Angelina Jolie fell apart. The tough phase forced him to bring a change in his own life.
On fighting his addiction to alcohol and becoming sober, Pitt stated that he discovered his addiction was a means of running away from anything that bothered him. "What I realized is that I was running to avoid tough feelings, painful feelings," said the actor to CNN, according to Harpers Bazaar.
He added, "I want to sit in it, I want to feel it, I want to get through the rough night. I found in doing so, you come out the other side with a more profound understanding, of yourself and a greater gratefulness of those in your life."
Pitt's addictions came to the limelight only after he parted ways with Jolie in 2016. The public was astonished by the news and fingers pointed at the actor and his alcoholism. Faced with allegations of physical abuse and excessive drinking, the Pitt was heavily criticized and judged by the media and the public.
It went so out of hand that the actor decided to quit drinking for good. “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” told the actor to The New York Times, according to Huffington Post.
Apart from quitting drinks, he sought the support of an Alcoholics Anonymous group meetings. He attended these meetings for a year and a half. The safe and non-judgemental environment allowed him to open up and examine the problems that were buried inside of him.
"You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard. It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself," said the 56-year-old actor to Huffington Post. He continued, "The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss. We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes."
Recalling those meetings, Pitt called his experience "freeing". "It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself. There’s great value in that," said the actor, according to Harpers Bazaar. He even called the split “huge generator for change” that forced him to introspect. Looking back, Pitt realized alcohol was a major part of his life.
"I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um — cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings,” said the actor to GQ. He further added, "I’m really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean, I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know — things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again.”
However, Pitt does not regret the wrong decisions and choices he made in life as he believes it helped him to find his path. “I’m realizing, as a real act of forgiveness for myself for all the choices that I’ve made that I’m not proud of, that I value those missteps, because they led to some wisdom, which led to something else. You can’t have one without the other. I see it as something I’m just now getting my arms around at this time in my life," said the Fight Club actor.
After turning over a new leaf, the talented actor is committed to building a great relationship with his children and mending the mistakes he did in the past as a parent.