Macklemore has opened up about his experience of relapsing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharing his story with People, the 38-year-old rapper said that he hopes to make others who are battling addiction feel less alone.
Though he struggled with a brief relapse in 2011, Macklemore has been mostly sober since entering rehab for drug and alcohol addiction in 2008.
“It was really painful for myself and for the people who love me,” he said of his relapse in 2020. “I stopped doing the work.”
“When I have to be still and exist within my own head, that’s where the disease lives… [But] I’m like, ‘You know what? I don’t need to pretend like I’m some perfect dude in recovery.’ I am to at all, there’s no shame.”
Revealing that his eldest child Sloane, aged six, has known about his struggles with addiction for some time, Macklemore said: “Why would I hide it? It is who I am.”
“In terms of Daddy’s sober meetings that he needs to go to, she’s well aware and has been for quite some time now.”
Macklemore shares two other children – Colette, aged three, and Hugo, aged six-months – with his wife Tricia Davis. Calling them his “greatest success”, he said he came to the realisation that his children wouldn’t be able to keep him sober.
“I remember being like, ‘I don’t ever want my kids to see me loaded’,” he explained. “There was this relief like, ‘Okay now I can stay clean for someone else.’ But that’s not how this disease works. My kids can’t keep me clean. I have to do the work.”
The rapper also paid tribute to his father, whom he credited with pulling him out of his addition and finding him help in 2008: “Getting that help saved my life.”
“I hope that people will come out of the shadows, that the guilt and the shame of the disease of addiction lessen and we don’t feel like we need to hide anymore.”