Special’s Ryan O’Connell Celebrates 1 Year of Sobriety: ‘My Life Has Improved 1,000 Percent’

“We live in a culture obsessed with drinking,” Ryan O’Connell said as he opened up about his struggles with alcohol. Today he celebrates sobriety after being alcohol free for one year.

Ryan O’Connell discusses his drinking

Ryan O’Connell is one year sober.

The 34-year-old actor and writer – who chronicled his experience as a gay man with cerebral palsy in the hit Netflix series Special – revealed in a candid post on Thursday that he’s stopped consuming alcohol.

He went on to reveal that he’s long struggled with the substance, and pointed to Annie Grace’s book This Naked Mind as a resource that helped him get sober.

“I used to see posts like this and be like ‘WTF? HOW?’ And, look, everyone is different. I did not do [Alcoholics Anonymous] which has worked for so many. I read a book,” he said.

The Netflix star revealed This Naked Mind deconstructed “alcohol’s power over our society and explained its addictive nature in a science and facts-driven way that made sense for me.”

“But reading the book wasn’t a magic trick. I was also ready to be sober and not live in the iron grip of booze anymore,” O’Connell added.

O’Connell then opened up about his journey to sobriety, admitting he put a rule in place while filming Special before lockdown that entailed “only drinking on the weekends.”

Having that parameter in place gave O’Connell “some semblance of power and control,” he said. The problem for the actor was that on those weekend days, he would binge.

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Ryan O’Connell Celebrates Sobriety

“My life has improved 1,000% since removing booze from my life,” O’Connell said.

“I used to think I was an anxious person who needed alcohol to deal. It turns out alcohol was actually the thing making me anxious and turning me into someone who can’t handle anything,” the actor explained. “Alcohol is such a scam.”

There’s been one other benefit for O’Connell.

“Also, when you quit drinking, you get really hot,” he said. “That part is fun too.”

Read more on how Ryan O’Connell celebrates sobriety at people.com