Your 2012 autobiography, Sinner’s Creed, is a very frank account of your experiences so far, do you see Proof Of Life as interconnected with the book and even a continuation of it in some ways?
“Absolutely, I don’t think I could have written Proof Of Life had I not begun this journey of self discovery and sorting through my life; processing my life. I didn’t start out to write a memoir. I started out as a guy who was seeking clarity and sobriety and was kind of directed by someone, who had been there before, to just go and write. Start with your name and when you were born and just write your story down.
"I was just going to share it with that one person and then burn it, that was the whole concept of doing that. After writing my basic story and trying to understand who I am, things in my life and really honestly reflecting; taking responsibility for things where I’d gone wrong. Also, looking back objectively without candy-coating, just being honest.
"When I shared some of it with my wife, she was the one who said, ‘I think you should share this story.’ Part of being in recovery and being someone who is fighting the disease of alcoholism, helping others who are trying to get sober is part of staying sober. Then I kind of found a purpose for this.”
There's a shocking incident in 2006 that you recount in the book when you fell 40 feet down onto a balcony roof at Miami's Delano hotel. You could have died from your injuries, but you were found by the rapper T.I that night and he called for help…
“He did. It’s one of those things where you first hear it and you’re like, ‘Yeah… right.’ But that’s how it happened. He was actually on the Arsenio Hall Show [recently] and he was talking about it. The one thing is, I didn’t jump; I fell. But I had basically been slowly committing suicide for two or three years up to that point with how I was treating my body with alcohol and drugs. But he saved my life.”
Was it a wake-up that set you on the path to recovery?
“That was the beginning. I went through phases after that when I didn’t want to admit I was an addict or an alcoholic, I wanted to find excuses and all of these reasons why I didn’t have to be different, and I could still drink with everybody else. Acceptance is key, so it took me probably until 2010 before I finally looked into the mirror and said, ‘You’re an alcoholic and a drug addict.’
"And it doesn’t matter that it started out [with me] trying to self medicate because of major depression hitting [me]. That’s irrelevant. I tried to use that as an excuse because it’s the truth. It started me doing that but it just turned into something else. And it was enough of making excuses because it seemed like the whole world knew before I did and that’s denial. But in 2010, after white knuckling it and saying, ‘I can stop when I want to,' I was trying to do the right thing but I wasn’t in recovery. It didn’t start until then.”