(Image via Drew Fickett’s Facebook page.)
Via Sobriety Fighter
For those uninitiated, Sobriety Fighter is my own side-project. I’ve dedicated 2013 to being a year-long experiment where I spend one year as a full-time fighter while also attempting to stay clean and sober. I can’t promise that I’ll be the next Elias Cepeda or that I’ll never relapse, but I can promise that I’ll do my absolute best for everyone. Most of the stuff I post isn’t particularly MMA-related, but this is. Enjoy. - [SethFalvo]
(SF) How do you feel that the lifestyle of a professional fighter has enabled your addiction?
(DF) I started fighting during the first broadcast of the Ultimate Fighter and remember seeing Chris Leben getting drunk and being stupid and then going in and training balls the next day hung over. I glorified that. Being able to fight hard and party hard. Train hard even when drunk and hung over appealed to my vikingesque nature. Pretty soon I developed a name in the sport for being a bad ass drunk who could fight.
I could fight and drink and even though it was very taxing I could pull it off and loved the type of image it gave me. I thought it was so cool. I used to associate airports and flying with drinking and pretty soon I couldn’t fly if I wasn’t tore up from the floor up. I don’t even understand how I would manage to make it from Point A to Point B, but I remember many flights missing my plane and ending up back at the airport pub for another Guinness or shot of Jack. I can really relate to Josh Hamilton’s story because of our obvious similarities.
What went through your mind when Dana White cut you from the UFC over your behavior outside the cage? Did you try to get sober after that experience?
I thought, “Man, I need a drink.”
I felt pretty upset that were singling me out after an incident that was simply getting kicked out of a bar for not having a collared shirt. I felt like a victim ’cause guys like Junie Brownie and Jesse Taylor were given several chances to clean up their act – even commended for their actions which brought great ratings to the show – but you know it really just comes to taking responsibility for my actions and realizing life isn’t fair. And the more powerful and influential you become, the more unfair it’s gonna seem, and the more people are gonna try to tear you from your perch.
Would you consider the Ritch fight your “Rock Bottom,” or was there a different incident that comes to mind?
Absolutely not. That was a rough weekend.
What comes to mind: Checking out of the psyche ward for a suicide attempt just to go into a bender in an apartment where I was partying for four days straight with a schizophrenic Vietnam vet who suffers from severe PTSD. I woke up laying in my own shit, vomit and piss. My hand was terribly cut open and my blood was everywhere. The smell was so unbearable that my bum friend Sergeant Steen couldn’t even stick around. I had to be admitted into the hospital because I had a severe Mersa infection in my hand where the doctors talked to me about possible amputation.
Step Nine involves making amends with those you have hurt because of your addiction. Have you ever gotten to make amends to everyone in the MMA industry? Do you feel that there are some people in this business who you don’t owe an apology to?
The first people that I made amends to were my very close friends and family. I’m sure there still remain people that are upset at me for one thing or another. It’s very likely that there are things that I’ve done that I can’t even remember, so if you are listening to this and you still hold resentment towards me, I am truly sorry. Blessings be upon you and I pray that Jesus Christ should enter your life and take all of your disdain and contempt, turning you into a loving grateful individual.
Check out the rest of Seth’s fantastic interview with Fickett over at SobrietyFighter.