Jason Isbell Celebrates 10 Years of Sobriety

by Samantha Whidden

On Monday (February 7th), singer and songwriter Jason Isbell took to his Twitter account to celebrate ten years of sobriety.

“Ten years sober,” Jason Isbell writes in the post, which features a snapshot of his tally tattoo. Fellow singer and songwriter Ryley Walker, who has also struggled with addiction, asked how the former Drive-By Truckers bandmate achieved the milestone. “A conscious effort to be as grateful as possible,” Isbell answered. “And the luck of having good people around me. Then eventually I started spending my addiction money on guitars and it got a bit easier.”

According to the New York Times, Jason Isbell’s now-wife Amanda Shires, with the help of Isbell’s manager Traci Thomas and musician Ryan Adams, staged an intervention to help Isbell stop his drug and alcohol addiction. The singer and songwriter notably spent two weeks in Cumberland Heights, which is an alcohol-and-drug-treatment center in Nashville, Tennessee. He has been sober ever since. 

While chatting with the media outlet about the decision to fight against his addictions, Jason Isbell stated, “I’m lucky to have a second chance at all this. I don’t remember a lot of the good times from my days with the [Drive-By Truckers]. This time I want to remember it all.”

Jason Isbell Talks Remaining Sober During the Worldwide Health Crisis

During a 2020 interview with NPR, Jason Isbell spoke about how he has continued to remain sober during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m glad [the pandemic] didn’t happen a decade ago. Because I would have been a disaster. I couldn’t imagine trying to stay in the house and be safe when I ran out of liquor. Yeah, that would have been overwhelming for me.”

Jason Isbell also stated he feels for those who are still battling their addictions during the pandemic. When you’re in the throes of addiction, anything that hampers your ability to get the thing that your addiction needs are gonna really, really upend your life. I think the pandemic is taking its toll on addicts all over the place right now.”

The singer and songwriter goes on to add that he feels fortunate that he has been developing tools over the past decade that really came in handy for him since the global health crisis began. “I’m somebody who tries to stay in the moment and focus on the process of living and working and being a person. I try to live one day at a time, as the old AA adage says. It’s really helpful right now.I can plan my routine, I can plan my rituals and I can plan my day. And I can stop myself from looking too far into the future and asking too many questions about what happens next.”