WWE legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts recently spoke to Shiningwizards.com about living with DDP at the “Accountability Crib,” what it’s like to be sober for the first time in years and much more. Here are the highlights:
On his sobriety and the struggle: It’s really cool, you walk into my bedroom here at the Accountability Crib, that’s what we’re calling it (DDP’s house), and right to the right there’s a big frame, a real nice frame, no money spared on that, and inside is my first drug test that I’ve passed. And I’ve got many more. Many more. I’m sixty-seven days clean and I’m not missing it at all, man- there’s been a couple of moments where I’m like “Sonofabitch, I’d like to have a drink,” you know. One was yesterday, I had to do an MRI, and I’m claustrophobic… you’re in the gigantic machine, it drops down to about an inch above your face, and all the noises start, it’s really horrible, man. It’s really funny, when you hit something that really bothers ya, damn, it bothers ya, clean or dirty. And those things bother me. It’d been twenty-something years since I had the last one. It was a tough moment for me, and I shouted “gosh darn it, I need a drink.’ But I didn’t mean it. I was just playing with my mind. ‘Cause sometimes you gotta lie to yourself to keep from running from the truth.
On the happenings at DDP’s house, including his routine and his diet: Especially for me- he spends a lot of time yelling at me, saying “quit doing that!” And what he means is, quit working on the house. ‘Cause I like doing woodworking, things like that. And I’m a clean freak… Once I messed my shoulder up- It’s funny how goofy my mind works sometimes. Like, here I am in this horrible pain, and I’m watching the other guys work out, and I’m jealous. I’m pissed off. Dammit, I wanna work out, you know? Which is really different, I might have felt like that before, but never about working out, it was about drugs or something, you know? But you get to feeling good about yourself, and you just want to do the right thing all the time. At first, it was kind of dodgy, ’cause you have to remember what the right thing was. And my mind was pretty cloudy. It had a lot of moments that weren’t real clear. But now that my mind’s clear, I know what I wanna do, and I know before I even do it what the right thing is. Before, doing the right thing was a hit-or-miss thing. But living here, I wake up 7, 7:30 in the morning; last time I did that I was usually going to bed. That’s not a good thing. I hit the hot tub, get the parts to moving, and I’m ready to work out. I’m ready to sweat, ready to get after it. That’s what we do every day. And we eat right. That’s what so nice; for all the pain you spill out, you’re being twisted in all these positions. This ain’t your momma’s yoga, as you all know. You’re not sitting in a corner holding your thumbs up humming or anything. There ain’t none of that shit going on. There’s a lot of squealing and a lot of barking, maybe, but none of that. But eating right is such a big part of it. What I found out is, eating good actually tastes better than the crap I was eating before. No gluten, and no dairy. The only thing that bothered me about dairy was no cheese, ’cause I love cheese, man. But then I found out there’s cheese you can eat, which is sheep cheese. It’s awesome. It’s friggin awesome stuff, man. And it’s not bad for you… Then we get on this stuff called chuice… I detoxed on it. Not so much off of drugs but off of bad food. And I’d wake up in the morning and I’m like “alright, somebody came in my room last night and pissed on me,” ’cause I smelled like piss. It’d be okay if they left me a dollar or something, but they didn’t even do that. But it wasn’t. It was my body excreting all these toxins and stuff that had been built up in my body for so friggin’ long, you know? I probably could’ve sold that shit to some junkie somewhere, he could’ve refined it and smoked it or something… I can’t believe how much clearer my mind is, my speech is much clearer… It’s not a concentration camp here, it’s about loving each other, and reaching out, helping each other, and positive attitude.
On his current state: I’m fixing this old body up… I have a positive attitude, I feel good about myself. I think the funniest thing that’s happened since I’ve been here is I was taking a shower about three weeks ago- I take a shower every day, just wanna make that clear, if you’re thinking “Jake’s a stinkin’ sonofabitch.”- I look down and I’m like “Oh, my God, I’ve got six toes!” But it wasn’t a toe, it was my penis!” I hadn’t seen it in a few years, you know? And I’m looking down like, “Damn, somebody must’ve exchanged mine.” ‘Cause mine was much bigger… As silly as that sounds, man, it’s like, “Damn, it’s good to see that.” You know, I’m getting thin, I’m 247 pounds. So I’ve lost 60 pounds, and I want to drop about 15-20 more. And lean and mean, man, getting around- if I get down on the floor I can get up by myself now. Even with the bad shoulder, it’s not much fun but I can still do it. Before, you’d have to help me out of a chair. I couldn’t get up, man. You know, I’ve had hip replacement, I had part of my left foot removed, two discs out of my neck. Okay, I know my shit’s all busted up. But doing this program of Dallas’- I’m doing shit with my body I’ve never did before. And I wouldn’t have thought I would have ever wanted to do it. But now I’m challenging my body to try new things, to bend new ways, to twist new ways, to open things up. My hips feel so much better, my feet feel so much better, my hands, i can straighten my fingers out now. Before I couldn’t straighten my fingers out… they said I’ve been hit in the head too many times, yeah, and my brain misfires, and it was causing my fingers and my toes to contract. Which is okay for some things when you’re right-handed, but it’s not good for your feet. I would be walking, and my toe would catch in the carpet, and then I’d be bending over, and of course I’d be stepping, and I’d break it again. So I was breaking toes quite often, which is not a really a cool sound to hear. “Oh, shit, there’s another one.” Now they’re straightening out, I can move them again. But the bottom line is, I can actually dream again, man. You see, I was to the point where I would get so angry when I’d wake up in the morning, saying “Sonofabitch, I’m still alive.” I’d be pissed off. I mean, as sick as it sounds, it’s the truth. If I heard somebody died, I would be jealous. What a lucky bastard. ‘Cause I wanted to die. I wasn’t suicidal because I had hurt my family and kids enough doing the stupid shit I’d already done. I wouldn’t do that. But, man, I was sure hoping for death. And I hadn’t had a dream in so many years, where something positive, you know, something good, and now I’m thinking of good stuff to do, fun stuff to do. Last week I actually went and walked up Stone Mountain. I know they always introduced me from Stone Mountain, that’s a rib on the fans, too. I’d only been there about 3-4 times in my life… I actually went and did that. It’s not an easy trek up there. Takes about 45 minutes of walking at a pretty good pace. The hard part about it is, Stone Mountain is not a smooth trail up there. You gotta step up and move, and get up there. We put some of that on YouTube and I’m gonna start doing that every week. If somebody told me six months ago I’d actually be able to get up that sonofabitch, I’d have laughed in your face, called you a liar, and tried to punch you because I’d thought you were trying to be cute and make a joke or make fun of me. That’s how bad my body was. But hell, I went up that sonofabitch. I’m gonna try and do it every week. Now my goal is to actually run up the damn thing… It may take me a year, but by God I’ll tell you something, at some point, if I stick with this program, I’m going to. Ain’t nothing stopping me now… Y’all couldn’t handle Jake when he was screwed up, what the hell are you gonna do with me now?
On inspiring others: If you’re walking around in a negative cloud, not being positive or uplifting about yourself at all, then how the hell are you expecting to move forward? You can’t. You’re stuck in crap. I just know that there’s so many people that I will affect with my journey to sobriety and my journey to health that it will mean so much more on the big scheme of things than my wrestling career ever did. There’s millions of people out there that never watched wrestling, they don’t know Jake, but I can give you a list of shit that I have overcame, and if that don’t inspire you, then kiss my ass… Three of my kids called me on a conference call, and they said, you know, “Dad, we’re always proud of ya, what you accomplished in the ring. You did so much. What you’re doing right now- [what you’ve done in the ring] pales in comparison to what you’re doing right now.” And for my kids to tell me that, to tell me they were proud of me, you know, that kicks ass… Life is a beautiful thing, but life is what you make it. I spent 57 years making mine a mess, and I ain’t doing that no more.