Actor Dylan McDermott celebrated 35 years sober this week. In a heartfelt Instagram post (Aug. 19), the actor shouted out Alcoholics Anonymous and his adoptive mother, Tony award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, for helping him on his journey.
“Today is my Sober Birthday. 35 years! Staying sober has been my greatest accomplishment. I say that because I was able to show up for myself in every way possible,” ThePractice actor said in the caption accompanying a photo of himself. “In the most turbulent and best of times I had the rock of the 12 steps to guide me. I was able to be a father, son, brother and friend.”
The Golden Globe winner, whose adoptive mother is Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, mentioned his birth parents in his post. “Proud of this day because many in my family including my birth mother and father struggled with addiction. It was brutal to witness. I’ve also seen many who didn’t make it and that truly breaks my heart.”
In 2012, Today reported that the mystery surrounding McDermott’s mother’s 1967 death had been solved after authorities reopened the case.
Five-year-old McDermott was outside the apartment when his mother, Diane, was shot dead by her boyfriend John Sponza.
Sponza claimed at the time that Diane had died by suicide, but upon further investigation after McDermott later inquired about the case with Connecticut police, her death was ruled murder by Sponza.
According to the Republican-American, McDermott explained to the police the reason he pursued his mother’s case. “In order for me to survive and to get where I am today, I needed to bury that moment in my life deep within myself,” police reported him as saying. “I’ve come to the point in my life where I’m able to begin to process all of this.”
The trauma of witnessing his mother’s death was no doubt part of McDermott’s healing journey.
He concluded his Instagram post by giving credit to those who helped him along the way and encouraging treatment for those who need it.
“If you’re hurting please get help,” he wrote. “The loving hand of #AlcoholicsAnonymous is always available! Without the guidance of my sponsor and @EveEnsler I would not be here today. I will be forever grateful to them!”
“I look forward to many more years of sobriety, trudging the road of happy destiny…”