It’s been over a decade since since Eminem began his road to recovery.
The 46-year-old rapper shared a photo on social media of a medallion stamped with the Roman numeral “XI” and the words “Unity,” “Service,” and “Recovery” to commemorate 11 years of sobriety. The photo was accompanied by a caption: “11 years – still not afraid.”
The caption refers to the 2010 song “Not Afraid,” which directly addresses Eminem’s struggles with addiction: “It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me/Admittedly I probably did it subliminally for you.”
The song was featured on Recovery, an album that Eminem dedicated to his battle to overcome addictions to Vicodin, Valium, Ambien and methadone between 2002 and 2008.
Eminem first tried to get sober in 2005 by going to rehab, but relapsed after the shooting death of his friend, DeShaun “Proof” Holton.
Two years later, Eminem nearly died from an accidental methadone overdose, which prompted another attempt to get clean, this time without entering a rehab facility.
“The second time I didn’t go to rehab,” Eminem told The New York Times in 2010. “I just went to a regular hospital. I detoxed in the hospital, and then I came home. I couldn’t go back to rehab. I felt like I was Bugs Bunny in rehab.”
He continued, “When Bugs Bunny walks into rehab, people are going to turn and look. People at rehab were stealing my hats and pens and notebooks and asking for autographs. I couldn’t concentrate on my problem.”
Eminem said that being a father to his biological daughter Hailie and his two adopted daughters, Lainey and Whitney was central to his motivation to get sober. “I love [my kids] so much, and they’ve helped me through so many things,” he said.
The rapper also said that he replaced “addiction with exercise” after ballooning to 230 pounds after his overdose.
Eminem’s post-overdose workouts included running, boxing, sit-ups and push-ups.
“I got an addict’s brain, and when it came to running, I think I got a little carried away,” Eminem told Men’s Journal. “I became a fucking hamster. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill. I would get up in the morning, and before I went to the studio, I would run eight and a half miles in about an hour. Then I’d come home and run another eight and a half. I started getting OCD about the calories, making sure I burned 2,000 every day. In the end I got down to about 149 pounds.”
He also used at-home workout DVDs like Shaun T’s Insanity, P90X and Body Beast to help get back into shape.
“I guess I’m pretty compulsive working out,” Eminem said. “I feel like if I step away from it for too long, if I have a crazy week and take a five-day break, it’ll be like starting over. I’m afraid that if it goes beyond that, I might lose the motivation. Once you’re at a place where you’ve made progress and you’ve got some time invested in it, you don’t wanna quit and give up what you started.”
Since getting sober, Eminem has released five solo albums and headline major festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella.