With a long lineup on his resume, Tim Allen has been notoriously known for his success starring in The Santa Clause franchise, Last Man Standing, and Toy Story, to name a few.
However, today, Allen is celebrating another victory. With over two decades of sobriety, Tim credits overcoming his personal battles as a major contribution to his success.
“The Biggest Blessing in My Life”
“To be perfectly frank, I’m going on 21 years sober. That’s the biggest blessing in my life,” he said in an interview with Parade.
Tim served nearly two and a half years in federal prison for cocaine possession in 1985, was arrested for a DUI, and entered treatment for his addiction over 21 years ago.
“It was a watershed moment. It put me in a position of great humility and I was able to make amends to friends and family and refocus my life on setting and achieving goals,” the actor said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“I’m not the same guy I was … when I was hiding and doing what people who drink too much do. I was not connecting,” he noted.
However, despite the hardship, Allen credits comedy to getting him through the dark times.
Using Comedy to Cope
“I don’t want to be too philosophical about it, but comedy is my coping mechanism. It always has been. I don’t really like people that much,” he said to Parade. “To keep them at bay, you make jokes, and they laugh and walk away,” he said. I’m not comfortable with what I think and feel half the time, so I don’t wanna share that,” he continued. “I love families, I love women, I love gay people, I don’t have any opinion about that—me, personally. I love religion, so I’m gonna throw all this in. I’m trying to make people laugh. It’s a magic trick: ta-daaa!”
After Allen was charged with a DUI in 1997, he entered treatment and hasn’t looked back.
“For me, I was done! I was just done! And I didn’t know where to turn,” he told the Huffington Post in a 2013 interview. “A physician friend of mine told me a long time ago, you’ve just got to ask for help… if you need help, it’s the first thing you go to in the phone book, and it’s free. It’s a program that’s always got its doors open, there are no dues or fees.”
“It’s A Disease of the Soul and The Mind”
Today, 66-year-old actor stays in shape by eating healthy, doing cardio, stretching, and even credits meditation to his sobriety. “I can get myself so wound up in worrying or stress and I just gotta sit still,” he says. Noting that he sits and mediates for 30 minutes at a time, “it just goes like this”—he snaps fingers—the stresses falling away one by one, going from “I’m worried about my health! I’m worried about my family!” to feeling less stressed and more present with every breath.
Allen added, “It is a disease of the soul and the mind, and it will tear up the people around you. It’s a matter of hitting a personal bottom… I was tired of my excuses, I was tired of the shame and the guilt… so much energy to manage it. It was unmanageable. I sat there [and] I said to whatever God that was watching over me: ‘Help me! I will do what you want.’ I’m a guy who doesn’t like ‘organized’ anything but AA is just brilliant to me.”
Today, the actor lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 13 years, actress Jane Hajduk and their daughter, Elizabeth 10. Allen has another daughter, Katherine, 29, from his previous marriage to Laura Deibel.
Tim added, “I’m 68 percent joyous, aiming for 70 percent,” he joked. “I’m also extremely grateful for where I am today.”