August 30, 2022 was a big day for a “Bachelorette” star. Tayshia Adams season winner Zac Clark announced on Instagram that he had just reached the milestone of being 11 years clean and sober. In the video, he spoke about his journey and also made an effort to inspire others with addiction problems to follow in his footsteps.
Fans remember Clark from Season 16 not only for winning the heart of The Bachelorette (at least temporarily), but for being open and honest about the struggles he went through with addiction and mental health.
Although Clark and Adams ended things in November 2021, Clark managed to overcome the pain of a public breakup and remain committed to the cause of staying clean and sober and helping others win their battles with addiction and mental health issues .
Much like Clark himself, the Instagram video is very direct and unembellished. Clark was seated at a table wearing a gray t-shirt and baseball cap. He greeted his viewers with, “Okay, y’all. Eleven years sober today. I’m super thankful. I feel very loved. The lovely notes and messages, thank you for all of that.”
The marathoner continued, “As I sit here and reflect on the last 11 years of my life, I can’t help but realize that this actually has nothing to do with me, can it? It has to do with the people who paved my way. Those who came before me, and more importantly, the person that is out there, is still struggling today — struggling with their addiction, struggling with their mental health and feeling like they can’t go on.”
The 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs is, “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we sought to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Clark’s message to other addicts reflect this principle.
Clark explained, “You know, I’ve got people coming up to me all the time and asking me how you stay sober…how do you have fun?” am so proud. Hard was out there on the streets ready to die to get high again for another hit. This life is simple and beautiful and available to you when you want it. We’re here for you. We love you. Keep going. dig in I promise you it will get better. If I can, you can do it. Let’s go!”
The comments section of Clark’s video was filled with support from fans and other Bachelor Nation stars. Former host Chris Harrison wrote: “There boy! Miss my workout buddy,” to which Clark replied, “@chrisbharrison we’re staying tuned. Thank you for the continued support.”
Undergraduate graduates Joe Amabile, Blake Moynes, and Kenny Braasch also congratulated Clark, and he responded to each of them individually.
One fan commented, “You learned the tools and evolved them to help countless others. That’s legacy s*** right there.” Clark replied, “You’re the best. Thank you for all the love and support.”
Another supporter wrote: “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! How amazing. Great milestone!!!! An inspiration to so many ❤️❤️❤️ You save lives my man.”
Clark is a co-founder of the Release Recovery Foundation, which travels to colleges to promote mental and physical health.
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