João Franco from Below Deck Med has given up drinking after doing a considerable amount of soul searching. The reality TV star used Instagram to reveal that reconnecting with some family in Africa made João realize he needed to make some drastic life changes.
In a series of Instagram posts, the bosun got real about how alcohol has impacted his life. João admitted it was a long road getting to the place he is today, where he is ready to live without alcohol in his life.
Sings it’s time to stop drinking
There were many signs for João that it was time to stop drinking, and the first was hangovers.
“I’ll tell you what. A hangover, One that’s lasted 3 days! Demons. Alcohol. I’ve decided I hate this feeling! I seriously hate it! I should be the happiest I have ever been and yet I feel insecure, questioning my purpose, or more so, what I’m doing with my time that is important and how much of my time on this earth I am spending on unimportant things,” he shared in his first Instagram message.
Another sign was waking up to bloody knuckles or being arrested after a night of drinking that he barely remembered. Those should have been wake up calls to quit drinking, but they weren’t at first. João almost admitted watching himself on the Bravo show was a sign too.
The final sign was realizing that he could have killed someone or himself. The Below Deck Mediterranean star knows his demons are dangerous. However, he is ready to face them before he kills himself, or worse, someone else with his drunken actions.
View this post on Instagram
1/3- As I sit in the airport, waiting for my next flight after spending time with my dad who I had not seen in 4 long years. I find my mind lost in thought. There is irony in that right? Finding your mind and finding it lost in thought? Using cognition to subconsciously search through a set of cognitive faculties while using the same cognitive means to determine that your mind is in fact lost in cognition? I saw my brother last week for the first time in 2 and a half years! I saw my mom and sister recently after not seeing them for a year! I just spent a wonderful time with my beautiful girl, my family and incredible friends this past month and I am so overwhelmingly happy and filled with love! Yet i feel somewhat sad too. I have been on holiday for two months now and that makes me so lucky! So why do I feel like I need a break? What is making me feel this way? I’ll tell you what… A hangover. One that’s lasted 3 days! Demons… Alcohol. I’ve decided I hate this feeling! I seriously hate it! I should be the happiest I have ever been and yet I feel insecure, questioning my purpose, or more so, what I’m doing with my time that is important and how much of my time on this earth I am spending on unimportant things. I don’t do drugs, just drink. But I drink too much! Not everyday. It’s just when I do I have no off switch, no way of controlling myself and nobody around me who is capable of stopping me or slowing me down. Absolutely no recollection of the entire night, except a few flashbacks of arguments or fights with people. I am an aggressive and stubborn drunk. I’m literally a steam train firing at full taps on both cylinders and on the verge of derailing! This is to say I’m done.. And I’ll explain why and how in my next post💪🏼 #timeforachange #foodforthought
“Not just killing me, but all those involved too, Or worse- I live, and others die. I go through waves. I reflect and calm down for a few months, and then something gets me on the road to inevitable doom again,” he shared in one post.
Deciding to live a sober life
In another post, João declared he is sober and shared what led him to make the decision finally.
“I cut out what is pulling me down. Alcohol. Because alcohol is THE ONLY thing that makes me lose faith in myself and question my actions,” he admitted.
View this post on Instagram
2/3- (see previous post first:) A few things have come to light recently that I have been finding hard to deal with. One of these issues is from so long ago. But seeing myself in that light made me question my self worth and my choices. Back then but again now. Another issue, more recent and beyond my control. Somewhat unfair. An obstacle that could potentially slow me down for years… We are given signs that we choose to see or ignore. I have certainly been given my fair share of signs. They come to me in different ways. Some are a blatant smack in my face, like getting in trouble with the law or waking up with torn clothes, blood and gashes all over my body, some blood stains not my own. Broken knuckles and no idea of how it happened. Or watching my actions on a TV show, knowing very well that I would have handled situations very differently if I was sober. Some signs more subtle, maybe through other people like @captainsandrayawn giving me light on when and why she made her decision to quit alcohol. The people close to me, telling me that I have so much potential to be great, I just need not fuck it up by going to jail or having a car accident. Not just killing me but all those involved too. Or worse- I live and others die. I go through waves. I reflect and calm down for a few months and then something gets me on the road to inevitable doom again. I SOMEHOW miss a date with the devil and come back to my senses, all to start the process again. I have been told a countless amount of times that I have an endless supply of lives because SOMEBODY just keeps the lives coming! But why?? I should have died this weekend with my actions. I should have died a month ago on my way to Victoria falls when I drove with my best mates in the car. I can count at least 10 times a year that I should have died. So why am I still here? …. next post… #changeyourlife #changeyourmindset
The Below Deck Med star also revealed that by being sober, he hopes to inspire others to be healthy too.
“I hope to change lives as I change my own. Not through telling people it can be done but showing them. Maybe save a life or two. Maybe hundreds! This is at least one of the reasons I believe I’m still here. And it’s certainly a reason worth living! I quit,” João said.
View this post on Instagram
3/3- it’s the first time in MANY years most of my mates, family and I had been together in one place. We all came back to Zimbabwe at the same time, mostly unplanned. It would be the hardest time for me not to have a “chilled bevy” as we all catch up. But when I thought I’d feel like I needed a drink to blend in, they instead thought about drastically slowing down as well! As we catch up on old times, I paint a picture in my mind of all the ups and downs I have gone through in life. It’s an interesting picture to say the least! Besides the unforeseen circumstances life has thrown at me that I couldn’t have possibly predicted, I come to a hard conclusion. There is only one thing that I have had the power to control and have failed in most cases to do so and have still been lucky enough to tell the tales of my misfortunes and near misses afterwards. I am so thankful that nothing has been tragically irreversible. But one day it will be. So, I cut out what is pulling me down. Alcohol. Because alcohol is THE ONLY thing that makes me lose faith in myself and question my actions. First and foremost, the harm that we can cause by our actions on other people’s lives is so scary! It’s beyond measure and ridiculously selfish! Secondly, the harm on ourselves. I hope to change lives as I change my own. Not through telling people it can be done but showing them. Maybe save a life or two. Maybe hundreds! This is at least one of the reasons I believe I’m still here. And it’s certainly a reason worth living! I quit.
João Franco is getting support from his Below Deck Med costars after revealing he stopped drinking. Captain Sandy Yawn, who is a recovering alcoholic and addict, as well as deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole both expressed their love for João. They each promised to support him on his journey to living a sober life.
Below Deck Med returns to Bravo in Summer 2020.
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