Paul Magers opens up about alcoholism battle

Paul Magers opens up about alcoholism battle

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Former anchor Paul Magers returned to KARE 11 to talk about life in Los Angeles, retirement and his fight against alcoholism.

RANDY: How's life?

PAUL: How's life?

RANDY: Yeah, how's life?

PAUL: (sings) "I don't care, I don't care." -- Life's great.

RANDY: Is retirement what you though it would be?

PAUL: You know, I have to tell you, Randy, retirement is better than I ever anticipated.

RANDY:  Really?

PAUL: And I don't really want to tell you about it because we won't finish this interview… seriously.

RANDY: not bored?

PAUL: No. Freedom. Literally freedom is the word I'd use… first word I would choose.

RANDY: I have to read this: “nurse today at urgent care explained my medication may cause diarrhea-told her i’m retired & that would give me something to look forward to”

PAUL: I didn't have anyone to talk to, so I just tweeted it.

RANDY: I really think that Twitter has become your comedic outlet.

PAUL: I like observational humor. That's my favorite type of humor and it's just when you have this much free time, you observe a lot more!

RANDY: It’s allowed you to connect with people too here in Minnesota.

PAUL: It has, that's true. A lot of people in Minnesota follow me and I appreciate that very much and they say fun things. As you know, I'm sober now. Went through treatment and it's something I work at daily.

RANDY: What is working for you right now?

PAUL: To be real frank about it, I attend a 12-step program; I go to daily meetings.

RANDY: How is life different?

PAUL: Oh it's a hell of a lot better.

RANDY: Tell me about that.

PAUL: Than being drunk? Well, yeah, it's a helluva lot better.

RANDY: You see things more clearly obviously.

PAUL: Because you can see (LAUGH). Sure and usually you see one of whatever it is you see (LAUGH). Everyone has a different bottom, and I certainly, you know I was a functional alcoholic. But the fact is, I was an alcoholic.

RANDY: When did that start? Because I can remember conversations when you worked here where you would call. We’d talk late at night. I could hear the ice rattle in the glass. 

PAUL: Sure, yeah, it started longer ago than I thought it would have. There were people who were shocked that I did what I was doing. it's your pride, it's the embarrassment. It's like admitting you have some weakness, when in fact, it's a disease. There were days, Randy, where I sat at this little breakfast counter in the morning and I'd be alone and crying, and asking.. I still get emotional about it… asking God to help me.

RANDY: The unattended casualties from all that, what would those be?

PAUL: Your family takes a hit, some of your friends take a hit. And for me, lucky in that respect that the damage… I would call minimal. stories you can hear, and I've heard, woo. I feel better.

RANDY: You look great.

PAUL: Well thank you.

RANDY: Thin. Thinner than I remember.

PAUL: And you look much larger. Of course the camera adds 10 pounds (LAUGH).

RANDY: Knew you were going to do that.

PAUL: How much fun did we have? It should have been illegal, every day. In those 20 years, I would say, and I believe you'd probably say the same thing, it was a pretty happy environment.

RANDY: Was it the same in L.A.? 

PAUL: No.

RANDY: Why?

PAUL: Every man for himself (LAUGH).

RANDY: Did you know that from day one? 

PAUL: Man overboard just keep going!

RANDY: Did you know that from day one?

PAUL: No… about day two? 

RANDY: Yea,

PAUL: Day two I knew. Large egos.. man, yeah.

RANDY: How do you want people in Minnesota to remember you? In the time that you were here?

PAUL: Well, that's pretty easy for me. It's what I want the day I'm gone is what I want for my daughters to remember me, it's what I want my wife to remember. It's what I want friends like you to remember, that I was just a pretty decent person. That's all.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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