EXCLUSIVE: Baron Giesler opens up about overcoming his addictions & finding God
The road to recovery can be tough and strenuous. Even after achieving monumental steps, such as reconditioning their mindset in order to succeed, one must be consistent in trying to make lifelong changes.
Actor Baron Geisler was no exception to struggling either. He was fortunate enough to turn over a new leaf when he faced the stumbling blocks of life. In an exclusive interview with Showbiz Beat, Baron shared the lowest points in his life and how he overcame these hurdles.
CHILDHOOD & CAREER
At an early age, Baron knew that he was destined to be in the entertainment industry because he would act as a director while playing as a kid. “I had plenty of toys. I would play with these toys. I would even build houses for them and dress them up. At ako ‘yung gagawa ng dialogue nila,” he recalled.
He continued watching TV and further enhanced his love for entertainment. But in spite of the confidence that he now projects onscreen, Baron developed his insecurities when he was young.
“That insecurity stemmed from me competing with my brother.I also had my self pitying moments thinking that I wasn’t good enough. I’m also a perfectionist and I want to be the best of the best. And that put a lot of pressure on me,” he recalled.
Baron also stressed, “I think it was also because my parents were very competitive. I could also feel the special treatment to my brother, and I wanted that kind of treatment na hindi nabibigay sa akin. So I kind of developed that envious attitude.”
And at age 12 he, his brother, and his friend decided to audition for TV and he was lucky enough to get in. At 16, he had almost everything. When he turned 21, he had a five-bedroom mansion, four maids, two house boys, four cars, and two drivers.
However, Baron recounted that he wasn’t mature at that time, and he was also too sheltered to understand how it was to live in the real world, particularly the riveting world of showbiz. “Siyempre living from that lifestyle then getting into the showbiz world, medyo nakakawala rin siya. So I got so angry at my parents for hiding the truth to me na ganito pala ‘yung life na the world was not so kind pala. I was really not ready for that. That’s why siguro in the end that became a problem.”
STRUGGLES WITH ADDICTION
It wasn’t easy for Baron having to deal with his addictions. But he never blamed anyone, not his parents nor the entertainment industry, when he began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. “Kasi later in life I realized na predisposed na ang pagiging addict at alcoholic ko eh. Kasi at a young age I was already fixated with toys. If my mom didn’t buy me a toy I would cry the whole day until I had that toy. So that was already one addict behavior that I had back then.”
He further stated, “I really had to prove myself. I always felt second best kasi eh, and I was never satisfied. And most addicts and alcoholics have that similar trait. So what happens is, when nothing is good enough, I would self soothe through making myself feel better, up to the point na nagiging delusional na ako. It came to the point na I would believe this certain persona of mine, which was a person of self grandeur.”
Times were so tough for Baron that there were moments when he would slip into anxiety and depression, and eventually start drinking. “I would have four or five beers then the next day I would feel like a loser. I felt that I let God, myself and my family down. And that’s just one day. And then I would go back and fight it. It’s a disease. Everyone should understand that it takes time and that addiction and alcoholism is a disease.”
Needless to say that at that point, Baron had hit rock bottom. He had a lot of low points in his life but still remembers which one was the worst. “I would say it was when I went to jail a couple of times in 2016-2017. And this was real jail ha. This was me riding that big bus with convicts talaga going to City Hall. But that’s when I realized that enough is enough, because if i dont stop I’m going to die. ”
Baron also looked back at another significant moment when he wanted to change for the better. “I got so scared that I was kneeling in this detention cell in Pampanga. I was lying down near human feces, and I was eating the tira-tira of the police. Kung ano ‘yung kinakain ng aso kinakain ko rin. So I told myself, this is not how I’m supposed to live. I was in hell at that jail cell. It felt like I was all alone.”
“I just surrendered and said ‘Lord, please take me away and get me out of this place. I’ll serve you for the rest of my life,” he said.
One thing that Baron realized was that he couldn’t do everything on his own while he was recovering. He decided to seek help from his siblings, and entered rehab in Cebu. He also joined a Bible study group, and found a support system. “I had no friends because I would buy my friends. I wanted to heal, with the help of the Holy Book (Bible) and reading it everyday, constantly meditating, going to church, and working out.”
Baron admitted though that there were moments in the past that he would slip back into old habits during his recovery, but he was fortunate enough that he soldiered on because he wanted to be sober. “I was still enjoying it eh, I was faking everything. As soon as I would get out, I would go drinking again. Masyado ko kasing dinala ‘yung pagiging artista ko eh to the point na artista rin ako sa ibang tao. Ang nangyayari kasi before was lumalabas ‘yung yabang ko na feeling ko ang galing ko while I was under the influence.”
He was so focused on bettering himself and prioritizing God that he never really thought about getting back to his career. “When I was in my recovery in Cebu, I was 100% in recovery with God and my program. I did not even think about showbiz because I already thought that everything was gone. Up until my pastor said, ‘You know what Baron, I think it’s about time for you to start knock on God’s door and ask him na. Since acting is your talent.’ I could not memorize anymore eh. I had a hard time because of the concussion. But he said to keep praying about it.”
He took his pastor’s advice and took it one step at a time, then out of nowhere, an opportunity fell on his lap. “Then boom! Brillante Mendoza called me up. Tapos sabi niya sa akin, ‘Baron may gagawin tayong pelikula.’ So wow a door opened at ginawa namin. And then after that tuloy-tuloy na, at may Ang Probinsyano.”
“It will take a couple of years pa for my brain to re-wire. My anxieties are still there. But the good thing is I have a doctor and if I have a problem I process it, I face the problem, and I seek help. I also realized that I can’t do it alone. That’s what also has been keeping me down because I had trust issues sa mga taong nanakit sa akin. And trust issues sa sarili ko rin na parang, ‘Why did I allow these things to happen?’” he said.
Baron took a moment, then said, “I also realized in order to succeed you have to sacrifice so many things, and that’s not easy. Nothing is easy and you have to really work hard. And when I accepted everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly; and when I forgave myself and others, I was able to breathe – It set me free.”
FINDING GOD AND CONTENTMENT
Baron can now finally say that efforts are now paying off because it seem like he is in the right path. “Three years na wala akong nakakaaway and wala akong social media schnanigans. Sa 20 plus years ko sa showbiz eto ‘yung longest na wala akong bad news. Praise God.”
“To be aware is to be alive, that’s key. And also the willingness to love yourself and to allow others to help you. Because if I remained stubborn, siguro I would be dead now, in jail, or in a mental institution,” he stressed.
The actor underlined that he is thankful to his support system, which is his family, for being there for him during the process. “What really helped me this time also was my wife and kids to maintain my sanity and my sobriety. My wife is very supportive and encourages me. She told me, ‘Alam mo you’re good.’ What’s important is that you’re consistent with your good behavior. And also have good relationships with the people you work with.”
With all the continuous blessing coming his way, needless to say that Baron is in a better place. “I am very blessed and grateful. But of course there’s nothing wrong if I aspire to accomplish more and achieve more in life. I’m starting ulit though so I have to prove myself when it comes to my behavior. I have to be consistent, because if that doesn’t happen I could lose everything – my family and my job.”
Notwithstanding all the fortunate events, Baron doesnt think he is good enough, even if people tell him that he is. “I’m still so insecure pa rin. I’m one of those insecure actors. Never magiging contento ako sa acting. But I think that drives me to become a better actor para hindi ako maging kampante. It keeps me on my toes.”
“I keep on praying to God na, ‘I know I can do this, pero hindi ko pa rin masabi sa sarili ko na magaling ako,” he said.
Baron also has a message to those who are struggling with addiction. “There a lot of people who backslide because of uncertainties. Stand firm and trust the Lord because no matter what He will provide. And don’t be lazy. Laziness will kill you. Enjoy the ride in recovery. Yes, it’s going to be tough journey, but there will always be gifts of sobriety. If you have faith, God will be faithful to you and never leave you nor forsake you.”
*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Instagram (@baron.geisler)