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The Six-Day Hangover That Pushed John to Get Sober

John Mayer says he wants to be an example of a person who said “enough is enough” and stuck to their word. He tells Complex how Drake’s wild birthday party and a six-day hangover lead him to make some life-changing decisions that he’d never go back on.



John Mayer Gets Real 

John Mayer got real in an interview with Complex in their November cover story. He told his story about getting sober and what it had to do with Drake’s birthday party.

John claims he quit alcohol after he “went deep one night. I remember being like, ‘What happens if I keep going? I always stop here. What if I keep going?’ It was really kind of, oddly, a playful kind of thing … It was Drake‘s 30th birthday party, and I made quite a fool of myself. It took me weeks to stop doing this every morning I woke up.” The musician is a bit of a philosopher who’s eager for answers. Curiosity killed the cat but pushed John to quit testing his limits.

The Epiphany After Drake’s Birthday Party 

The day after Drake’s birthday party, John said he was nervous about all the things he did when he was wasted. The potential embarrassment was horrifying, but he later learned that he “wasn’t as bad as he thought.” Humiliation aside, the hangover was bad enough for him to put down the alcohol.

John says the aftermath of drinking too much lasted six days. It was on the sixth day of the epic hangover that he says he had a conversation with himself about how much of his potential we would like to reach. Initially, he said 60% was enough and that he could use the other 40% for fun and games. But, after the debilitating hangovers kept repeating themselves, he realized he’d rather reach 100% of his potential.

Giving Up Alcohol Felt Like “Bordom”

John admits that, at first, abstaining from booze felt “like boredom.” He admits he missed the high he got when he drank excessively. Eventually, however, he said it was the best decision he’s ever made.

Here’s how John worked through the matter logically: “If you look at drinking the way you would look at anything else — which is risk-reward, what am I giving up? What am I getting? — it’s some of the worst odds that ever existed,” he says. “You have to fight really hard to look at it from a critical point of view because it’s constantly pushed on you. Every Friday and Saturday, on social media, there is enabling going on for drinking.”

A Decrease in Alcohol = Increase in Productivity

The year he quit drinking, John went one four tours and was in two bands. He said that another perk of not drinking is that he was now “happy on airplanes.” John’s success at being sober it pretty impressive considering all the temptations he faces as a celebrity.

The musician felt the need to add that a sobriety journey is unique to every person who chooses to go on one. “It’s the most personal thing to people. It just is so particular to your own spirit and your own psychology that it’s almost impossible to develop one way of explaining it to someone else.”

Why John Chose to Open Up About Sobriety

John’s pact to quit alcohol was a personal decision, however, he’s decided to be brutally honest about the whole thing and for a good reason. The musician says he wants to be an example of someone who felt they had enough of something and then decided to take action.

“I don’t know that there are enough examples of people who are saying, ‘I just had enough.’ The next time the ladder appears in front of you to climb out of the hamster wheel of drinking if you’re getting tired of it, take it. I climbed out. I had a great time. I haven’t turned into a bore. But I want to be an example of someone who went, ‘That’s enough.’ We’re out there.”