John Stamos is giving readers a raw look into his struggle with alcoholism in his new memoir, “If You Would Have Told Me.”
Throughout the book, the 60-year-old discusses the formative moments that led him to recovery and sobriety, including a 2015 DUI incident.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the major revelations from the book.
Stamos ‘went off the rails’ in 2015
Before deciding to get sober, the “Full House” alum wrote that he went “off the rails” in 2015.
“I’m burning my throat with liquor, burning bridges with arrogance, and burning the candle at both ends,” he wrote.
In one passage, the star attributed the recent loss of his mother to his dark state of mind.
“I’m missing my dad, and my marriage has busted up, but it’s the loss of my mom, Loretta, who died nine months ago, that has me spiraling. She kept me anchored, solid, and straightened out for most of my life. I’m feeling adrift and alone without her. Empty,” he wrote.
The actor noted that “alcoholism is genetic” and said both his mother and father “enjoyed imbibing regularly.” Although, he added that they “functioned well and never considered stopping.”
Stamos noted that he realized he was playing with fire while drinking too much.
“Proclivities can lie dormant within for a while, but I’m pushing my luck, drinking a bottle of wine every performance (including matinees). I can stop if I want. I’ve got this under control. I’m fine. Although it feels like I might be awakening a sleeping monster,” he wrote.
The star also said he found himself “chasing a combo of dopamine and serotonin.”
“Like any thrill, once you get used to prolonged pleasure hits, it takes more and more to get those neurotransmitters transmittin’. The kind of kicks that would get me excited and happy now need a dose of danger,” he wrote.
Stamos says he used to be able to ‘sober up at the drop of a hat’
At the height of his alcohol addiction, Stamos said he would schedule time to stop drinking depending on his work schedule.
“I can sober up at the drop of a hat, just takes me a few days. I meticulously plan it all out on my calendar: Quit drinking. On Saturday morning, I’ll stop cold turkey, lie in bed and sweat it out over the weekend,” he wrote. “Occasionally spilling into Monday, Tuesday at the latest. Cancel a few meetings, work out a bit, and get back to my fighting weight. When the following Monday morning rolls around, I’ll show up looking like a million bucks, clean-shaven, bright-eyed, and stone sober until the job is done.”
In one passage, the star said he thought he had “an image to uphold” and felt pressured to maintain his “‘bon vivant’ character.”
“I feel it’s my solemn duty to uphold my status as ‘that guy’ keeping the dream alive for all those average joes out there, giving them someone to live vicariously through. Who cares if it’s at the expense of my own happiness?” he wrote.
Jamie Lee Curtis comments on Stamos’ addiction journey in the book
In her foreward for Stamos’ book, Jamie Lee Curtis detailed the experience of getting to know the actor while they were both starring on “Scream Queens.” At the time, Stamos star was newly sober and dating his now-wife Caitlin McHugh.
But before that, Curtis met him at a business party when he wasn’t sober. “(I) looked into his gorgeous eyes, and tried to communicate with mine that there was another way for him,” she wrote.
“I’m so pleased that he found that path and himself on it and is sharing both with you in this beautiful book,” she added.
What Stamos remembers about his DUI incident
In a powerful passage of the book, Stamos reflected on his misdemeanor DUI from June 2015. The actor, who was 51 at the time, recalled tourists urging him to “pull over,” adding that they said he was “f—– up.”
Stamos acknowledged that he shouldn’t have been driving at the time, writing, “I have no right to be behind any wheel.”
“Something I took or drank earlier kicks in when I pass the iconic Beverly Hills sign. These one-way streets are confusing enough when you’re stone-cold sober, but if you’re loaded, they become a maze of mayhem,” he wrote.
While reflecting on his DUI, Stamos said he thought about dying while he was driving.
“I don’t want to kill myself, but there’s a selfishness in death that I flirt with. I’m faded in my car. It’s okay if I die. Fine. I’ve done it all; crossed everything off my list. Got the fame, got the girls, got the sitcom, got to play with The Beach Boys. The end. I’m good to go, in the literal sense,” he wrote.
Stamos said the police found him pulled over and “blacked out, slumped in my seat like a scarecrow.” Soon after, he got transferred to the hospital.
“I’ve seen the TMZ video and pictures from that night. It makes me sick to my stomach. I’m spinning around the streets, out of my f—— mind. I could have killed a kid, wiped out a family or a grandmother coming home from Bible study. I’m jeopardizing everything in my life: my career, reputation, and worst of all, the kid my parents raised, a guy I kind of like,” he wrote.
Bob Saget showed up for Stamos after his DUI
On the night of his 2015 DUI, Stamos said he was on the way to get together with his “Full House” co-star Bob Saget. Instead, his friend met him at the hospital.
‘By the time I’m back in my body, I’m waking up in heaven. ‘John?’ God? No, it’s not my maker but someone pretty close in my eyes. Bob Saget is by my bedside. No judgment, just concern and love. … Bob sits with me for a while. I learn he and my sisters, Alaina and Janeen, have been going crazy all night trying to get ahold of me.”
Stamos spoke highly of his late friend, who died in 2022, throughout the book, calling him “the closest thing to the brother I always wanted.”
“He riles me up and evens me out like no one else. He often phones me, tells me he’s too busy to talk, and before I can say, ‘But you called me . . .’ he hangs up. I love him so much,” he wrote.
Stamos reflects on rehab and recovery
Stamos gives his younger sisters a lot of credit for helping him enter rehab and seek treatment for his alcoholism. Still, he notes that he felt a lot of guilt over the situation.
“I’m the older brother. I’m the one who’s supposed to be protecting them, making sure they’re okay, not the other way around. They pray that their older brother will be around long enough to assume that role again,” he wrote`.
After his DUI, Stamos felt like he’d “made a mockery” of himself and the characters he’d played on TV. He also realized how many people were rooting for him to get better.
“I can’t believe I have so many loving people in my life trying to help. I need to get better for them. In the moment, I don’t realize that’s not how this works. Healing starts with the self,” he wrote.
“The impact of this support cannot be overstated, as it transcends any professional achievement,” he added.
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