The former basketball star sat down with Dr. Travis Stork of The Doctors after completing a 30-day rehab program to discuss the power of addiction, why this stint in treatment was different, and how he plans to move forward with his life.
While replaying the chilling events that led to the night of his overdose, Odom, 37, recalls his feeling of disbelief when he woke up in a hospital bed.
“It’s crazy because that night, I didn’t do any coke or anything like that,” he says during the interview. “So I was kinda confused too about how I got like that. I didn’t know until Khloé had told me that I was in a coma. I couldn’t even speak at the time. I couldn’t talk. So I was scared.”
He admits, “I wasn’t in a good place mentally before the incident happened. My wife at the time, we were going through some things. And I was in a dark place.”
The former couple tied the knot in September 2009, but things took a turn for the worse after Odom’s cheating scandal and drug relapse. Kardashian filed for divorce in 2013, but quickly called it off following Odom’s overdose incident. On Dec. 17, Odom’s divorce to Khloé Kardashian was finalized after a seemingly endless back-and-forth.
And although this wasn’t his first time in a rehab program, Odom says this time around was different.
“When I went to treatment before, I was a boy,” he admits. “When I left treatment this time, I left a man. In order to get through this process, I had to tap in on the inside to see who I really was and what I was really made up of. I was able to do that on the inside. It was a spiritual thing for me as well to find my higher power and to become closer to Him.”
While in treatment, the former NBA player says he learned a lot about himself.
“These 30 days that I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot,” says Odom. “First, I’ve learned to be a good selfish — how to take care of myself and put myself first. I did this for me. No one else. You can’t do it for no one else if you want to live a sober life.”
He adds: “Do I feel ashamed by the some of the choices I made? Hell yeah. They were despicable. I was basically just committing suicide. Being that I know it’s a disease, it allows me to forgive myself a little bit more.”
Now, newly sober, Odom says he’s focused on repairing his relationships with his children.
“[My children] were really happy that I went though the process,” he says. “I was thinking a lot too much about how they would think of me, but once I let down that guard, let them in and let them know everything I was going through, I think it helped build our relationship to tell you the truth. Our relationship before that point, we were struggling.”
And that’s not the only relationship he hopes to mend.
“Honestly, I want my wife back,” he says. “Other than that, I just want to live a happy, healthy life.”
“When you’re doing drugs, you become distant to everything,” he continues. “Even your feelings, you become numb to everything. Just to reinstate what we had as a family, it was important to me. Khloé is important to me. She’s been through all this with me. She stood by my side. I just want to repay her.”
After publicly apologizing to Kardashian and his family for “all that wasted time” they spent in his addiction, Odom walked away from treatment with the most valuable lesson at hand.
“The most important thing I took away from [rehab] is that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for being,” said Odom.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org