Oprah Talks to Steven Tyler About His Hardest Battles and Greatest Loves
Steven: No, it doesn't. That's the thing. I know I won't, but I have to be careful.
Oprah: When you say, "I know I won't," you mean you believe you won't, you think you won't, you don't want to?
Steven: I mean I've set myself up with a sponsor I talk to every night. I've got a bunch of great people in my life who are sober as well. They've been to the dark side of the moon. I love them. And I go to meetings.
Oprah: But after eight times in rehab, you still don't think drugs are all bad.
Steven: Well, no. They can't be. I'm on Neurontin now for my feet. If I wasn't, I would be losing it 'cause they're so painful.
Oprah: And why are your feet so bad?
Steven: From dancing around onstage.
Oprah: All those years.
Steven: My toes are all squished. During an operation, they had to take nerves out. This was in 2002, 2003. I was on so many drugs, and I didn't give them to someone else to hold. I'm in bed, and I start snorting. I got really bummed out and ashamed.
Oprah: What was it like for you to sit down and write your book?
Steven: I did it in a tent out there. [Points to the yard.]
Oprah: Was it cathartic?
Steven: Oh my God, yeah. I've always said, "Of all the things I ever lost, I miss my mind the most." I mean, I do so much in any given day now. I just got back from L.A. last night, and now I'm here with you, and I'm back in L.A. tomorrow. It's like, "What did we do today? Where did I wake up this morning?" It's mind-altering.
Oprah: It is a rock-star life. Do you wake up sometimes not knowing where you are?
Steven: Oh, yeah. I walk into the wall thinking it's the bathroom.
Oprah: That happened to me the other day. I woke up and wasn't sure what city I was in or what day it was.
Steven: Was that the first time?
Oprah: No—and I'm not on any kind of medication, not even Ambien! So I can't imagine how it is for you.
Steven: Everybody said, "You won't be able to handle it if you get sober." But I spent 12 years loving it. When you take drugs a lot, you think being on them all the time is where it's at. It's not. It's about feeling experiences—like going out in the morning and watching the sunrise.
Next: How sobriety has changed his experiences onstage