Elton John celebrates 29 years of sobriety: ‘I was a broken man’


Elton John just shared the most touching message on Instagram about his sobriety. The Rocket Man has been sober for nearly 30 years, and he proudly shared his story of recovery in order to help inspire others.

The singer-songwriter has been vocal about his addictions over the years, talking about how he became dependent on both drugs and alcohol to cope with his anxiety and shyness. In his recent Twitter and Instagram posts, John shared an image of his Alcoholics Anonymous badge, which commemorates his 29 years of living substance-free:


“29 years ago today, I was a broken man. I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: “I need help,” he wrote in the caption alongside the image. “Thank you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety. I am eternally grateful.”

Although John has been sober for almost three decades, he admitted that he still has nightmares about relapsing.

elton john photo
Getty Images | Theo Wargo

“I still dream, twice a week at least, that I’ve taken cocaine and I have it up my nose,” John told NPR. “And it’s very vivid and it’s very upsetting, but at least it’s a wake-up call.”

Considering the gravity of his addiction, it’s understandable that the star would struggle with such frightening dreams. He admits that he very nearly lost his life due to his drug and alcohol abuse.


“I would have an epileptic seizure and turn blue, and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I’d be snorting another line,” John told Piers Morgan.

He described the days of his addiction, saying, “This is how bleak it was, I’d stay up, I’d smoke joints, I’d drink a bottle of Johnnie Walker and then I’d stay up for three days.”

He has also been open about his struggle with bulimia, explaining that he would go days without eating, only to later binge on bacon sandwiches and ice cream.


John’s struggles with substance abuse, bulimia and mental illness are well-covered in the biopic “Rocketman” (which you can watch a trailer for below). That is exactly how the subject wanted it.

“This is how my life was, and I didn’t want to cover it and gloss it over,” John told the Daily Telegraph about the film’s no-holds-barred plot. “And it’s difficult to watch because I thought, ‘God, I don’t want to go back there, thank God I came out of it.'”

He also went on to add, “Success was fantastic, and then I couldn’t cope with it. And you can’t leave out the bad.”

John’s message on social media has prompted dozens of his followers to reach out and leave supportive messages in the comments. From their many responses, it’s clear his fans appreciate how candid John is about the struggles he’s faced in the past and how hard he’s worked to overcome them.

elton john photo
Getty Images | Tristan Fewings

Congratulations to John on nearly 30 years of sobriety!

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Bridget Sharkey
Bridget Sharkey is a freelance writer covering pop culture, beauty, food, health and nature.

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