After years of substance abuse, AJ McLean is proudly 10 months sober, and opened up to Tamron Hall about how his family saved his life.
The Backstreet Boy shared that he struggled with addiction to alcohol, cocaine and Xanax, revealing that “in the addict’s mind, when you’re drinking heavily and you’re getting drunk, you think by doing cocaine you’re actually going to be sobering up when in reality you’re just getting more and more messed up.”
“For the better part of two years, I didn’t even see the sunlight,” McLean added. “I would be going to bed when the sun was rising, waking up when the sun was down. That was my regular routine.”
When Hall asked how he maintained a successful touring gig, the singer admitted that “it worked until it didn’t,” and things got more severe when he found himself drinking onstage.
“My bandmates started to really catch on,” he continued. “My family was catching on and people were starting to actually see a change in me physically.”
After nights of drinking, McLean added that he would come home “reeking of alcohol, and my wife and I were arguing for a brief period of time.” But what really got him to hit rock bottom make a change was when his three-year-old Lyric said to him, “‘You don’t smell like my Daddy.”
“That was it,” he said. “There doesn’t get a lower bottom in my world that your own child telling you that you don’t smell like their dad.”
Watch the full interview clip below.