"I was terrified": Elton John recalls performing sober for the first time

Iconic singer Sir Elton John has revealed that he was worried he wouldn’t be able to perform sober after taking a year off music to get treatment for his addiction issues back in 1990.

He attended Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in order to get sober but admitted going back to performing was difficult.

He spoke to Variety’s recovery issue about the fear he was facing.

“After I finally surrendered and decided to seek treatment for my addiction, there came a point when I wondered if I would ever go back to work as Elton John again.

“But at that time, I wasn’t thinking too much about being an artist. I had reached the lowest ebb in my life – the absolute bottom.

“I hated myself so much. I was consumed with shame. All I wanted to do was get well. I put all of the energy I had left toward my recovery.”

John made a point of clearing his diary in order to give him time to focus on his recovery but realised there was one charity concert he didn’t want to back out of.

This made him realise that he would be able to perform again.
“When the day arrived, I was terrified, but I did manage to get through the performance. It was the only time I stepped on a stage that year, and I had to do it on my own without the band.

“In retrospect, I’m glad I went straight in at the deep end… That show gave me confidence to know that I could still perform sober.”

John went onto write his 1992 album The One and worked on The Lion King soundtrack for which he won an Oscar after his treatment.

This article originally appeared on Over60.