August 30, 2022 was a huge day for one “Bachelorette” star. Zac Clark, the winner of Tayshia Adams’ season, announced on Instagram that he had just reached the milestone of being 11 years clean and sober. In the video, he talked about his journey, and also strove to inspire others struggling with addiction to follow in his footsteps.
WATCH Clark’s Instagram Video
Fans remember Clark from season 16, not only because he won the heart of the Bachelorette (at least temporarily), but because of how open and honest he was about the struggles he had gone through with addiction and mental health.
Although Clark and Adams ended things in November 2021, Clark managed to push through the pain of a public breakup and remain committed to the cause of staying clean and sober, and helping others win their battles with addiction and mental health struggles.
The Instagram video, much like Clark himself, is very direct and unembellished. Sitting at a table wearing a grey T-shirt and baseball cap, Clark greeted his viewers with, “All right, y’all. Eleven years sober today. I’m super grateful. I feel very loved. The beautiful notes and messages, thank you so much for all that.”
The marathon runner continued, “As I sit here and I reflect on the past 11 years of my life, I can’t help but recognize that actually this has nothing to do with me, right? This has to do with the people that paved the path for me. Those that came before me and, more importantly, the person that is out there still struggling today—struggling with their addiction, struggling with their mental health, feeling like they cannot go on.”
The 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs is “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Clark’s message to other addicts reflects this principle.
Clark professed, “You know I have people that come up to me all the time and ask me how do you stay sober…how do you have fun?” “I laugh because I’ve been given this next level existence that I am so proud of. Hard was being out there on the street, being willing to die to get high one more time, for one more hit. This life is easy and it’s beautiful and it’s available to you if you want it. We are here for you. We love you. Keep going. Dig in. I promise you it gets better. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s go!”
Bachelor Nation Alums Were Very Supportive
The comment section of Clark’s video was filled with support from fans and other Bachelor Nation stars. Former host, Chris Harrison, wrote, “There ya go boy! Miss my workout buddy,” to which Clark responded, “@chrisbharrison we keep at it. Thank you for the continued support.”
Bachelor alums Joe Amabile, Blake Moynes and Kenny Braasch also congratulated Clark, and he responded to each of them individually.
Another supporter wrote, “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! How amazing. Awesome milestone !!!! An inspiration to so many ❤️❤️❤️ you’re saving lives my guy.”
Clark is the co-founder of the Release Recovery Foundation which travels to colleges promoting mental and physical health.