Rob Lowe on Sobriety and Fatherhood: ‘Not A Day Goes By Where I’m Not Thankful About It All’
Published: January 24, 2022
Rob Lowe on Sobriety and Fatherhood: ‘Not A Day Goes By Where I’m Not Thankful’
By Movieguide® Contributor
Actor Rob Lowe, who is celebrating 32 years of sobriety this May, said that he is most thankful for his family.
“I’m happy I lived the life that I lived because I have no regrets, but I was super ready to coach Little League, carve pumpkins on Halloween, read books and serve hot lunch on Wednesdays. I really, really loved every minute of it,” Lowe told PEOPLE in a recent interview. “Up until I turned 26, I spent all my time investing in my career. From 26 on, I’ve invested in me; my spirituality, my recovery, my marriage, my family. No one has a perfect life… but I’m grateful for all of it.”
Lowe, who made his film debut in 1983’s THE OUTSIDERS, became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the ’80s. However, that fame and fortune led to wild parties and substance abuse.
Lowe’s alcohol addiction and party lifestyle came to a head in 1990 when the actor was 26-years-old.
After a night of partying, Lowe came home and heard his mother leaving a message on his answering machine. In the message, Lowe’s mother begged him to pick up the phone if he was there; his grandfather had had a heart attack.
Lowe didn’t pick up the phone.
“I remember going into the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror and my thought process was, ‘You need to drink directly from this bottle of Cuervo Gold so you can go to sleep, so you can wake up, so you can deal with this,'” Lowe recalled. “Out of all the things that had gone on in my life, that was the thing where finally I went, ‘This is no way to live.’ I went to rehab 48 hours later.”
Even though Lowe has had starring roles in hit movies and beloved TV shows, he said that his most rewarding role is that of a husband to his wife of 30 years, Sheryl, and a father to his two sons: Matthew, a lawyer, and John, a TV writer.
“I’ve never been happier, personally or professionally [and] there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not thankful about it all,” Lowe gushed. “I have gratitude and profound humility for the gifts that I’ve been given, and worked for, in this world.”
Many celebrities struggle with addiction and substance abuse. Unfortunately, their behavior often becomes a model for young people watching them on their favorite shows and in their favorite movies.
Research shows that children imitate, even from the moment of birth. Children follow the examples that are set for them, not only in real life, but also in literature. Parables are examples of teaching tales people have used to help children learn how to live. Research shows that the entertainment media provide “scripts” for a child’s future behavior.
A second basic principle of learning is that the more one practices a behavior, the more ingrained it becomes. Even practice in imagination, or fantasy rehearsal, is an effective way of ingraining a pattern. For young children, dramatic play is the prototypical fantasy rehearsal method.
The third is the principle of reinforcement which holds that behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated. Vicarious reinforcement also works. Characters in action and adventure movies are rewarded for their proficiency in violence. Often the reward for a male is the admiration of a beautiful woman.
The power of modeling, practice, and reinforcement in human learning predict that media violence increases the likelihood of real-life violence.
Although this study focused on violence shown in media, it also applies to the drug and alcohol consumption seen in popular television, movies, and on the front pages of tabloids. Furthermore, drug and alcohol abuse can directly increase acts of violence. While celebrities’ influence on young people can be harmful, there are also positive role models.
Lowe recognized that his lifestyle was harmful to himself and the people he loved and changed his life for the better.
Let’s hope that other hard-partying celebrities follow his example!
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