Joe Walsh says his struggle with learning and attention issues led to a difficult childhood and eventually substance issues.
At Monday night's New York gala for the organization Facing Addiction, the Eagles guitarist -- now 25 years sober -- recalled being "truly terrified because I felt stupid and alone and that nobody understood." He described anxiety attacks when he tried to play guitar for others: "I was so scared. I could not do it. I hyperventilated. I started shaking. I started crying."
He admitted that "my higher power became vodka and cocaine." Then he hit "rock bottom...Nobody wanted to work with me. I was angry [and ] turned into this godless, hateful thing."
Alcoholics Anonymous helped turn his life around. "Gradually they showed me that I’m not a unique individual, one-of-a-kind person. I’m just an alcoholic, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was somewhere where I belonged."
Walsh's brother-in-law -- and fellow recovering addict -- Ringo Starr was also on hand for Facing Addiction's event.