The New York Times put the question straight to the rapper—“How do you stay sober?”—and here’s what he said:
My kids, and also I see a rehab counselor once a week. I’ve been clean for two years.
I don’t know Eminem’s work. But I’m interested in how people stay clean, and it seems to me the interview gives other clues as to the things Eminem might be practicing to stay sober… • He says he has given up the idea of touring for this album—a huge ego trip—because “Touring is hard on the body. It used to be a big trigger for me with drinking and drugging.” (surrender) • He says he’s “calmed down a bit” from the boy who called women “bitches” and “hos”—he admits that he once felt those things at one time, but that his “overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be.” (awareness of character defects) • He says that he saves and invests his money: “I try to treat all the money I’m making like it’s the last time I’m going to make it.” (responsibility) • He sloughs off the interviewer’s compliment that he’s been praised for his “complex rhyme schemes” and demurs when asked if he reads poetry, saying, “I’m not really book-smart.” He also says he “felt like Bugs Bunny in rehab” because people were stealing his stuff and pestering him for autographs, “and I couldn’t concentrate on my problem.” (humility) He’s also able to call himself a good dad. He does this in “Not Afraid,” the first song he released from the album (watch the video here). Humility is knowing what you are and what you aren’t. The root of the word “humble” is the Latin word, humus, the soil—or close to the ground. Just like he’s able to say he’s “not book-smart,” and later in the interview that his music goes back to his “white-trash roots,” he’s also able to admit now that he’s earned the rank of “Good Dad.” Cool.