Former Tennessean/WKRN-2 entertainment reporter Brad Schmitt wrote the feature article (“Breaking Brad”) in this week’s (6/2) issue of the Nashville Scene, which gives the firsthand account of his DUI arrest last February and recovery process in the year following. Once a high-profile writer and TV personality, Schmitt was fired from WKRN after the arrest and sent to rehab. It’s a courageous, beautifully written piece full of heartbreak, humor, and warmth. Read it here.
The reformed journalist recounts in detail the events of the night that changed his life forever, his struggle with addiction, and the acceptance that brought him to a place of peace. Here’s an excerpt:
The police cruiser spotlight shot into my rearview mirror, pretty much blinding me. But I heard the officer’s door open and close. That was it. In that moment, I knew my whole life was about to change. I would be fired from my job as a reporter at WKRN. The news will get out, and the media and country music worlds will know.
A wave of surrender flowed over me as my mind decelerated. I’m going to start all over again, I told myself. A complete do-over. It could’ve been the vodka and Jager, but one thought took over: Tonight, whatever happens is gonna happen, so don’t fight it.
In the time since his arrest and rehab, Schmitt lost his home to the 2010 flood but has remained steadfast in his recovery. He speaks with gratitude of family and friends who have supported his journey, and helped him when everything seemed lost. He currently works at the YMCA, writes freelance, and continues to attend 12-step programs.