Ryan O’Connell recently sat down with Attitude magazine to talk about ways to get sober, SATC, and his new book which is being adapted into a movie Just By Looking at Him.
Ryan’s Book Turned Movie Adaptation
Although this interviewer initially mistook Just by Looking at Him for autofiction, it is definitely, definitely a novel. “I am drawn to personal material, but doing work that on the surface seems to resemble your life – I think there’s a certain [assumption] that it’s your diary,” clarifies Ryan. “It’s not. Special, my show, was not really autobiographical, to be honest. Different character, different world. But that and the book [are] emotionally autobiographical, even if the stories and relationships depicted are completely fictional.”
“There are myriad ways to get sober”
That said, Ryan, like Elliott, is open about his issues with alcohol, and the California-born star last year celebrated one year of sobriety. What is Ryan’s message to readers going through something similar, based on his lived experience? “There are myriad ways to get sober,” he says. “I didn’t know that. I thought there were two options: the AA/12-step programme – which a lot of my friends have done, it saved their lives; we stan AA, OK? The other is: quit cold turkey, and you’re what’s called a dry drunk. So, someone who is sober but hasn’t dealt with the reasons why they drink.
“[But] what changed my life was reading these books back-to-back: This Naked Mind by Annie Grace and Quit Drinking Without Willpower by Allen Carr. It blew my mind, and articulated alcohol’s chokehold on society. And how it works on the brain, how you become emotionally dependant on it very quickly, and the emotional sometimes turns into the physical. I was grateful to those books. There are different pathways, and one isn’t less valid than the other.”
One of the best ways to get sober
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