Tom Holland joined Jay Shetty of the On Purpose podcast for a conversation full of transparency as he opened up about overcoming his social anxiety and addiction to alcohol.
It was after last year's holiday season that the The Spider-Man: Far From Home star first realized that he had a drinking problem. “I didn’t one day wake up and say, 'I’m giving up drinking.' I just, like many Brits, had had a very, very boozy December. [It was] Christmas time, I was on vacation, I was drinking a lot, and I’ve always been able to drink a lot,” he told Jay.
He recalls making the choice to stop drinking at the start of the new year for 'dry January' but in his efforts to stop, he realized all he could think about was a drink. "All I could think about was having a drink... It just really scared me, I just was like 'wow maybe I have a little bit of an alcohol thing,'" he said. He continued to test himself and decided not to drink for the month of February to prove to himself he wasn't an alcoholic, he struggled then too.
"I decided to punish myself and say 'I'll do February as well, I'll do two months off.' If I can do two months off then I can prove to myself that I don't have a problem. Two months go by and I was still really struggling," he admitted.
Taking alcohol out of his life made him feel like he couldn't do things he would normally do, "I felt like I couldn’t be social. I felt like I couldn’t go to the pub and have a lime soda. I couldn’t go out for dinner," he revealed.
Luckily, his struggle with sobriety had met its silver lining last month. He challenged himself to wait to have a drink until his birthday, June 1, “I said to myself, 'If I can do six months without alcohol, then I can prove to myself that I don’t have a problem.' And by the time I got to June 1, I was the happiest I've ever been in my life," he shared, adding all the benefits he's reaped since quitting alcohol. "I could sleep better. I could handle problems better, things that would go wrong on set, that would normally set me off, I could take in my stride. I had such better mental clarity. I felt healthier, I felt fitter."
Holland admits that his friends and family have been very supportive on his journey to sobriety and his mother has also decided to give up drinking. However, he did have to give up enjoying his favorite sport, rugby. “I just felt so much pressure, and this is one of the [reasons] why I’ve sort of distanced myself from the rugby community 'cause so much of it is about how much can you drink. Let’s get you as drunk as possible." But he believes that is the best decision he could make.
Listen to the full conversation between the two to hear about how Tom is being more present and intentional in his life.