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MDLNY's Tyler Whitman Opens Up About His Sobriety: "I'm So Much More Grounded"
The Million Dollar Listing New York agent shared how he and Fredrik Eklund have connected over their journeys with sobriety.
Tyler Whitman is opening up about his decision to stop drinking.
The Million Dollar Listing New York agent recently spoke about his journey with sobriety in a new interview with Page Six in which he shared that his "darkest days with alcohol" occurred prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It was while quarantining with a friend that Tyler realized he needed to make a lifestyle change.
Tyler hasn't had a drink since April 2020, and he marked one year of sobriety this spring. "[365 days] without alcohol. Ironically, the most mind altering experience I’ve had," Tyler wrote in a post on Instagram on April 16, along with "#sober and #proud."
Tyler told Page Six that “the first few months were really hard” and his “cravings were overwhelming" at first. But he is doing so much better today.
“It’s been very enlightening,” he said. “I had been struggling with drinking. It didn’t really start until I turned 30, and then it was gradual. And then by the time I was like 32, 33, it was pretty out of control. But because I was very high-functioning and I didn’t get, like, the worst hangovers, I was still showing up for work. I wasn’t mean. And so I was kind of just getting away with it. And I think because of that, I wasn’t putting a huge effort into fixing this problem that I was very aware of. I was very aware of it. But it was like my dirty little secret.”
Tyler also shared that it's been difficult to watch some moments from this season of MDLNY back that were filmed before he quit drinking, including one exchange with Kirsten Jordan. "And then now I see myself, you know, in sobriety, I’m so much more grounded. I’m more patient. I’m more confident," he said. "I have what I call sober reactions, which is where I stand up for myself, but with dignity and respect.”
Tyler said that he displayed those more positive qualities while negotiating with Fredrik Eklund in the July 15 episode of MDLNY. “And I was like, ‘That’s who I want to be in this world. Like, that’s the life I want to live,’" Tyler shared. "That’s been such a gift of this show for me, personally.”
In fact, Fredrik has been someone Tyler has been able to confide in about his sober journey. Fredrik has also opened up about his decision to quit drinking alcohol, sharing that he was 262 days sober on Instagram earlier this month. “It was nice to be able to connect to him about that,” Tyler told Page Six, adding that Fredrik had recently sent him a text message checking in on his sobriety. “It’s definitely been nice to share that with him.”
Tyler previously opened up about sobriety in an interview with Forbes in June in which he shared how he realized he needed to get to the core of why he turned to drinking, just as he did with eating prior to his weight loss, which he said came from "feeling less than" and a "need to gain the approval of others." He told the publication that the lack of going out and socializing during the pandemic helped him quit drinking, as did meditation, journaling, and a morning dance party.
He also found support in a community of other sober real estate agents and clients, as well as people at meetings. “For me meetings were the game changer. Going to meetings and connecting with other people who had similar stories and realizing we're not unique," he told Forbes. "There's millions of people who have these struggles [and] sharing in that is the magic medicine for me.”
After the interview with Forbes was published last month, Tyler explained why he felt like it was important to share his story in a video on Instagram, noting that he came to realize that everyone's journey is different. "Coming online and reading stories from people who inspire me and who I aspire to be like one day really motivated me," he said. "So I decided to do this article, and I hope you enjoy it."
"You never know who is watching/reading/listening," Tyler added in the caption to his Instagram post. "But I hope it’s someone who sees they’re not alone."