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Joel & His Drug Problems- Seventeen Mag Scans [Jan. 29th, 2005|03:35 pm]
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"I had to go into therapy"
Good Charlotte's Joel Madden, 25, thought drugs made him feel better. But then he almost lost everything to them. [/I]As Told To holly eagleson[/I]

Being a musician, I feel pressure to do and say the right thing because I know a lot of you guys are watching me. But I'm human and I definitely make mistakes. I may not be the perfect role model, but what I am is honest. And the truth is I got out of control with drinking and drugs, and I had to change in order to save my family, my career- and myself.

How It Started
Back in high school, I never had the confidence to be comfortable with myself. Because I didn't really know who I was, I felt like no one in my life- not my friends, family, or teachers- understood me. I got so caught up in being loyal to my friends, thinking no one could be as loyal as I was, but I didn't exactly get that loyalty back. My first girlfriend cheated on me and broke my heart. Then my dad left my family when I was 15. Though I'd never use those things as excuses now, back then I was always blaming someone else for my anger- like my ex or my dad. The real problem was that I just didn't like myself, and I took those bad feelings out on other people: In high school I'd act really mean to nearly everyone I met.

Losing Control
My twin brother, Benji, and I formed Good Charlotte in high school, and after graduation, in 1997, we decided to play music full-time. We got a record deal in 2000, but we didn't become successful until our second album, in 2002. All of a sudden, my life was one big opportunity to do whatever I wanted. That sounds great, but because I could get unlimited alcohol and drugs (they're everywhere on the road), I got really out of control with partying. Not only was I confused about how to just be myself, but I didn't know how to deal with fame: Half the world loved us, and half totally hated us. So I'd get so wasted at after-parties- and my dark, angry side would come out. Every time I got drunk or high, I tried to fight someone. If someone looked at me wrong or talked s*** about the band, I'd hunt them down and find out what was up. I got in serious fights a million times, but I can only halfway remember them because I was so out of it then. The day after a night like that, I'd feel so guilty, like, Why did I make an idiot out of myself? Then I wouldn't do any drugs for like two weeks. But I still couldn't express my feelings to anyone. I'd always been close with the guys in the band- especially Benji- but I couldn't tell them how miserable I was because I didn't know myself why I felt so bad. So sooner or later, my emotions would always explode.

Hitting Bottom
In August of 2003, we'd just finished a successful world tour, but I was feeling totally hopeless because I'd ruined my relationship with the only girl I'd ever thought was perfect for me. Though I loved her, I was so unhappy that I kept picking apart our relationship until it literally disassembled. At that point, I felt so alone- I had nothing left except for this cold feeling in my heart. So when the rest of the band left Japan to return to the U.S., I decided to just stay by myself in this hotel room. Each day, I'd read and think a lot. I also started thinking about God again for the first time in years. My mom is a devout Christian, but I used to be like, Forget about what God wants, I'll do what I want. Yet once I thought about what I really wanted, I realized it was to get close to God. And I knew that I had to stop the things I was doing because God wanted me to respect myself.
After three weeks of reading the Bible and praying, I finally felt ready to go back to L.A. and clean up my life. One of the first things I did was get sober and start going to therapy. It's a personal thing, but I'm not ashamed to talk about it. I needed therapy, not only to get to know myself better but also to learn how to fix the things inside me that don't work. I have problems getting close to people, and I want to figure out why, so I can have a relationship that lasts.

How I Deal Now
I still go out with my friends, but I'm completely alcohol- and drug-free now. It helps that Benji doesn't drink either (he got sober two years before I did), but the main reason I don't need to get wasted is that I'm comfortable with myself. Now that I finally like who I am, I'm not afraid of my feelings- and I'll express them before I blow up. I also don't get so scared about what other people think of me, so it's a lot easier to open up to people who aren't necessarily my type. Like I never expected to like Hilary Duff, but I think she's really cool.
Now I'm just focused on my goals and what I want to do with the future. I plan on recording more albums, running a successful clothing label and record company, and producing and writing for other people. I even hope to get married and all that stuff one day.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: moremoremusic
2005-01-29 11:56 pm (UTC)

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Wow.. I didnt know all that...
Crazy! Thanks for posting it! <3
[User Picture]From: haveahangover
2005-01-30 01:37 am (UTC)

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Joels awesome.. and he deserves SO much respect from anyone who read this.

it just proves that you can make it through anything.

<3 to Joel
[User Picture]From: pyschoticpunksd
2005-01-30 03:24 am (UTC)

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wow that was...wow

<333 for Joel for sharing all that with the world
[User Picture]From: straykittie
2005-01-30 04:15 am (UTC)

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that's absolutely beautiful. My heart is definetly going out to Joel today.
From: lafuckinlala
2005-01-30 11:54 am (UTC)

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That made me cry. A lot. And I feel stupid and trivial, but it did. Now I have to go write, I'll post what I write in my LJ maybe. Later. Thanks for posting that!
[User Picture]From: drangons_wing
2005-01-30 03:43 pm (UTC)

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loved it! thanx!
[User Picture]From: xdark_illusionx
2005-01-30 05:09 pm (UTC)

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wow. I didn't know that. well I'm glad he's over it and all better now. thanks for sharing!
[User Picture]From: episkeyy
2005-01-31 12:37 am (UTC)

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i had no idea! i look at him with a whole new respect
From: sexaysydney
2005-02-06 06:24 am (UTC)

I have always respected GC

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MAn, I finally got the chance to read that and...wow. I respect GC for everything they have done and just having him come out and saying that is awesome. More respect for him, and the band. GC makes me wanna make something outta myself and maybe one day share the same stage...
[User Picture]From: summerbreeze84
2005-02-08 07:14 pm (UTC)

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Wow!! Joel is a very brave man for coming out and telling his story to the world. It takes guts to do that and I now have even more respect for them then I already have.
From: (Anonymous)
2005-04-12 06:00 pm (UTC)

wow

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and everyone thinks benjis the bad twin but really its brave and VERY cool that he
could come out and say that yah i had drinking and durg problems but i don't anymore that
gives me a hole new respect for him
good for u joel!!!!!!!!!!!!