Pat O'Brien, host of The Insider, has been working in the TV business for 30 years. "I never, for my life, wanted to be the story," he says. But he found himself making headlines because of his drinking and vulgar voicemails that he left for a woman that landed on the Internet.
Recently Pat was released from rehab and talked about his experience with Dr. Phil in a primetime special. Pat reveals that his mother was a pill addict and his father, who was an alcoholic, left them when he was 3 years old. Pat started drinking in the late 60s, but it got really bad in the last few years.
Now 50 days sober, Pat admits, "I'm an alcoholic. I'm an addict ... I've surrendered myself to this program ... I have more clarity than I've ever had ... To you and to those people out there, I just pray that I get the trust back."
Referring to his time in rehab, Dr. Phil asks Pat, "Was it the right thing to do?"
"Absolutely," he replies. "I think at some point you have to surrender yourself. I definitely hit a bottom."
Dr. Phil asks Pat if it is difficult to face the public now.
"There's a lot of shame involved in this. You lose your dignity," Pat explains. "To go out there and be out there with this is not
"How are you going to stay sober?" Dr. Phil asks.
"In rehab you learn to change your values, and values change your feelings. So you've got to come out of that with a whole change of your lifestyle. You can't hang out with the same people in a lot of ways that you did before. You have to go out with a whole different outlook on life. Mine is to stay sober 24 hours a day," Pat explains. "Sobriety is not for sissies." He points out that it is important to have a support team in place. "I have a sobriety companion, somebody who travels around with you. You have someone there saying, 'Maybe this is not where you should be. Don't go into that place,'" he says. "I have an outpatient program. And then you go and you meet with other alcoholics and study what are called the 12 steps of alcoholism, the 12-Step Program. And all those things plus your family and friends will keep you straight, hopefully. But it is a job." He notes that his family and close friends have been very supportive of him. Turning to the audience he says, "And from these folks out here who watch the show, I think, I want their support as well."
"I love my staff so much," Pat says. "So I can't wait to be back in that family. But my real family are the people that hold these remote controls. And I just can't wait to get out there and get back to reporting." The audience applauds.
"I support you. I'm behind you and I know you're going to hold yourself to the highest standard," Dr. Phil tells him.
"I won't let you down," Pat assures him.
The audience applauds and gives Pat a standing ovation.