Last month TV talk host Wendy Williams came clean about a recent reversal of her fortunes: she is living in a sober house and accompanied by a sober coach. That means the glam daytime star is living under 24-hour monitoring, driven around by someone paid to keep her from relapsing, attending multiple support group meetings daily, and going to bed at 10 p.m.
She didn’t say exactly how long this had been going on, but she has been having various “medical issues” in recent years:
- In October 2017, she fainted on her live show.
- In February 2018, she said she had Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism.
- In December 2018, she was wearing a sling for a hairline fracture in her right shoulder. Later in the week, she was slurring her words during a taping.
- And in February 2019, a month before admitting to living in a sober home, she claimed she was taking time off from her show for Graves’ related issues.
- Then on March 19, she announced, “for some time now, and even today and beyond, I have been living in a sober house.”
Meanwhile, the rumor mill had been reporting that her husband was having an ongoing affair and that his mistress was pregnant with – and has since given birth to – his child. Most people probably assumed marital distress was the cause of some or all of these incidents.
Now it appears that at least part of the reason could be due to drug abuse. Emotional trauma or distress can cause a relapse.
Not that Williams has said explicitly that she had resumed using drugs. Sometimes living in a sober house is to prevent a relapse from occurring. If you have the means and the fear, sober home living is attractive, especially with a dedicated sober coach. It is a regimented routine.
Williams reported that after taping her show, she goes to Pilates class, and then to “several” support group meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, though again she didn’t specify).
- “ I am driven by my 24-hour sober coach back to a home that I live in the tri-state with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family. We talk and read and talk and then I get bored with them. Doors locked by 10 p.m., lights out by 10 p.m., so I go to my room and stare at the ceiling and fall asleep to come here and see you. So that is my truth.”
The generally accepted truth of addiction is that there is no cure. Though onetime users may remain sober for decades, they can still relapse. The point of substance use disorder treatment isn’t to cure but to educate: to teach you to cope without alcohol, drugs, or other substances.
On the other hand, some stop on their own without treatment and remain sober for the rest of their lives. In a sense, they grow out of it. Few people become addicts later in life. It almost always starts before the brain has stopped maturing in the late 20s.
“I never went to a place to get treatment,” Williams said, but she ended her 10-year binge of cocaine (at least sometimes crack) not because she got help but because she got famous. She figured it was only a matter of time before she’s get pulled over or busted and it would disgrace her family and herself and possibly end her career. She also credited her relationship with her husband.
It still appears she isn’t getting treatment per se, just 24-hour monitoring and possibly 12 step fellowship. It may be enough. Meanwhile, she is helping others find treatment by starting an addiction help hotline through her nonprofit Hunter Foundation.