After almost two decades of problem drinking, a life without alcohol seemed impossible for Matt Chisholm.
But the Survivor New Zealand host’s battle with booze is now a thing of the past, with the new Dad – who celebrates seven years of sobriety in December – sharing his story exclusively with Woman’s Day.
“I knew I was done and would never, ever look back,” says Matt, a doting dad to nine-month-old Bede with his wife Ellen, 32. “I’m really lucky. Some people never figure it out and booze to their deaths.”
Born and raised in rural Otago Matt, also a TVNZ 1 Fair Go reporter, says his issues with alcohol started as a teen when he was playing rugby against boys two years older than him.
From the age of 14 until 34 – when he put down the bottle for good on December 26, 2010 – the 40-year-old suffered debilitating hangovers, blackouts, crippling anxiety and depression.
After several valiant but failed efforts to get sober, Matt says, “I just made a decision my life was better off without alcohol.”
Indeed, it is. Happily married with an adorable wee boy, life couldn’t be better for sober Matt.
“Alcohol is alright for the majority of people, but it doesn’t work for me,” he says. “Look around, my life is so good.”
Read the full story only in this week's Woman's Day, on sale now.