Backstreet went back, and man, it ain’t easy. On the heels of the announcement of a new world tour for notorious boyband Backstreet Boys, it looks like one of the biggest groups of the 90s are ready to take the world by storm once again. But original member AJ McLean recently had a lot to say regarding his long time struggles with addiction and what that means for him as a member of one of our favorite boy bands.
AJ recently sat down with PEOPLE Magazine and told them about what works for him when it comes to sobriety. Turns out, family really is everything for the BSB star. “Are my kids and my wife a huge support, and a huge inspiration? Yes, a hundred percent,” He couldn’t help but mention, however, that it can be a double edged sword. “But, at the same time the biggest problem I deal with, with them, is putting myself first, and not my family first. Because in my mind, that’s what you should do, you should put family first. You should put your kids first. If you do that too often, then you forget about taking care of yourself, and you do tend to get lost in the sauce. And that’s happened to me numerous times.”
Even with such a strong foundation – for AJ, that’s his wife, Rochelle, and daughters, Ava and Lyric – it is far from impossible to lose your footing on the sobriety train. “Look, I have no shame in saying, I’ve relapsed over the past year. It’s no secret that this is a disease, and that it’s a daily struggle.” AJ was incredibly candid about his setback. “One of the best things I was told, from my sponsor, from my friends, is the only way around is through,” he told PEOPLE. “And sometimes, you’re just going to have the worst days possible. But if you surround yourself with a good support group, if you go to meetings, if you talk to other addicts … you have to make it a lifestyle, you truly do.”
It’s no surprise AJ spoke so positively about his situation – the singer has been incredibly vocal over the years to help others who are struggling with addiction themselves. Between his three reported stints in rehab in 2001, 2002, and most recently 2011, he’s had a lot of experience to speak on. But, he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I have no regrets,” he told PEOPLE Magazine, proudly. “I think I did everything the way I was supposed to, I guess. Maybe I did it right, maybe I did it wrong, but no one’s perfect. And I’m still sitting here today. So obviously, thank God, someone’s watching me upstairs, and I’m doing something right.”
We really hope his words are reaching those who need it most, because Backstreet’s back and we can wait to see them back in action with AJ in good health!