Michael McDonald Has Been Sober for 27 Years After Being 'Thrown Out' of Wife's Recovery Meeting Drunk (Exclusive)

McDonald details his journey with addiction in his upcoming memoir, 'What a Fool Believes,' out May 21

<p>Henry Diltz</p> Michael McDonald and wife Amy Holland in 1983

Henry Diltz

Michael McDonald and wife Amy Holland in 1983
  • Michael McDonald's new memoir, What a Fool Believes, it out on May 21

  • In the book, he recounts his journey with addiction and sobriety, which he found after he was kicked out of his wife's recovery meeting for being drunk

  • The Doobie Brothers member lives by a "one day at a time" motto and hasn't picked up a drink since

Michael McDonald is opening up about the day that changed his life forever.

In McDonald's new memoir What a Fool Believes, out Tuesday, May 21, the Doobie Brothers member reveals his dark journey with addiction — and eventually sobriety. In one harrowing passage from the book, McDonald was stopped from entering a family counseling session for his wife's drug and alcohol recovery and he was faced with an important decision.

"I was being shown the door and I looked over at the nurse's station. 'Well,' he said, 'What are you going to do? You can't show up here like this. What's your next move?' I hated that question at that time in my life. I just didn't want anybody asking me what I was going to do," McDonald, 72, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "But in that moment, I felt myself surrender, and I just said, 'I don't know.'"

In years prior, McDonald — whose alcohol and cocaine habit worsened until he was under the influence most of the day — was put on probation for one year after the apartment of his girlfriend at the time was raided by cops and they found drugs. He was instructed to attend AA meetings and had a sponsor.

As McDonald was being shown the door at the family counseling session, he ran into that same sponsor — whom he hadn't seen in 15 years.

Related: Michael McDonald Is 'Grateful' for Lessons Learned After Wife's Breast Cancer Diagnosis: 'She Put Us First' (Exclusive)

"He said, 'What are you doing here?' I said, 'Well, I think I'm being thrown out,'" McDonald recalls. "And I remember in my head, I heard a voice in that moment. It was not my own — and I'm not one of those people. So this was very strange to me. But I heard a distinct voice in my head say, 'The jig is up.' And I remember thinking, first of all, who in the hell says the jig is up? I've never used that phrase in my life. It's like, what am I a '40s detective or something?"

He continues, "And after I got over that, I suddenly realized this is that moment that I have to make a decision. The bus is leaving one more time, and I might not be here when it comes back. And I had so much to lose in that moment."

<p>Allen Berezovsky/Getty</p> Michael McDonald and Amy Holland in Los Angeles in September 2016

Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Michael McDonald and Amy Holland in Los Angeles in September 2016

The rest was history. McDonald managed to stay sober for the rest of the night, "which was unusual for me" and he went back to AA meetings the following day.

"I knew something had shifted in me. I just had one of those moments of clarity that my biggest fear today is that if I ever forget where I am or where I came from, enough to pick up that next drink, I may never get back. I may never have that moment again," he says.

Now, McDonald has been sober for 27 years and one thing remains constant: "As long as I don't pick up the next drink, I'm going to be OK."

Related: How Michael McDonald and Paul Reiser Teamed Up to Co-Write the Doobie Brother's New Memoir (Exclusive)

"I've learned that my greatest strengths going off into the future is remembering my past and remembering it vividly and not getting amnesia, not thinking that I've got this because I never will have this," he says.

"It's really a one day at a time thing for me, and I have to make that decision every day in a renewed effort to just live this day out in the best way I can," McDonald concludes. "The beauty of that is that all of a sudden you turn around one day and it seems like a blink of an eye and you're looking at 30 years behind you of one day at a time, and that's life too."

What a Fool Believes, which was co-written by McDonald's longtime friend and actor Paul Reiser, tells McDonald's life story from first stepping up to the mic as a child to working with idols like Ray Charles and Patti LaBelle — and of course, the Doobie Brothers. It also sees McDonald getting vulnerable like never before as he recounts his wife's breast cancer diagnosis and journey with addiction.

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Read the original article on People.