Congratulations to Walker Hayes, who is celebrating eight years of sobriety. The father of six spoke about the milestone on social media, with a screenshot of one of his early songs, “Beer in the Fridge,” which touched on his struggles with drinking.
“Celebrating 8 years sober with y’all,” Hayes writes. “I don’t actually know the exact day I just know it was around October. Thank y’all for the encouragement over the years and for allowing me to sing through my struggles. Here’s to another eight and here’s to freedom from addiction. Let’s gooooooooooo!”
Hayes has been very vocal about his battle with alcoholism, and the struggle it sometimes still remains for him, in spite of his years of sobriety.
“I woke up one day when I was working at Costco,” Hayes recently recalled on Fox News. “I was working at Costco from 4:00 to 11:00, and then writing, and then playing shows. And man, it caught up to me. And honestly, I had been drinking since I was probably like 13.”
One day, Hayes inadvertently found himself at a crossroads, one that would forever change the trajectory of his life, for the better.
“I woke up one Saturday, and I just felt like I was going to die,” Hayes shared. “I felt like physically if I did one more day, something was wrong. And so I stopped, and then one day turned into two, and then two turned into a week. And then a week turned into a month. And then I did the whole high on sobriety thing and got into working out and stuff. Kind of traded a bad addiction for some good ones. But then the good ones, they become bad also, so I went through that process.”
Still, the Alabama native admits it is a battle he might have lost, especially after Hayes and his wife, Laney, mourned the passing of their seventh child shortly after birth, if not for his friend, Craig Cooper.
“I have no idea how I stayed sober through the loss of our seventh child,” Hayes acknowledged. “But I had a best friend named Craig, who really, really allowed the Lord through him to love on me through some nasty, nasty stuff. And I’m talking about stuff where most people would be drawn away from me.”
Hayes has more to celebrate than just his sobriety anniversary. The 43-year-old is back at radio with another hit single, “Good With Me,” from his latest album, New Money.
“I was leaving the gym late one afternoon and a friend stopped me in the parking lot,” Hayes said of the inspiration behind the song. “I love this guy. Great guy. We shot the breeze for a sec but pretty quick I noticed my buddy getting angry as he gave me an ear full of his opinion on a popular controversial issue. Then, he became even angrier when he told me what he thought about those who disagreed. Honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about but I left the conversation tired and even more confused.
“I went home, parked at the house and went and sat on my dock,” he continued. “I feel stupid sometimes because I don’t know what to think. I don’t have time. I have six kids, a wife, three dogs, a job and if I can squeeze in a workout at the end of each day I feel like I’ve completed a lot!”
That one conversation became the inspiration for “Good With Me,” one of Hayes’ favorite songs he has ever written.
“I just started writing this song right there,” Hayes says. “I plucked people from my life that I know and what they think and the first verse just spilled out. Then I thought about Laney. How much I enjoy her company because I don’t have to have it all figured out. We can just do that together. Or not. She is more than ok with my simple mind and when we do disagree on certain topics or issues, she’s ok with that too. We couldn’t be more different but we exist together so easily.”
Find music and tour dates at WalkerHayes.com.