Monday, March 17, 2008

Dan Harlan's Official Statement

Since I posted about Dan Harlan being arrested, I felt obligated to post his official statement regarding the incident, which I thought was candid and insightful.

Although I try to keep my personal life separate from my public life, that is no longer possible. In a way, that's good. I am going through a frightening and challenging time and I know I can't face it alone. Regarding the incident in question, I have no memory of it. I began that evening drinking at a local bar and I ended that evening in jail. The last thing I remember was singing karaoke, doing a little magic and everybody buying drinks for me... then I woke up being rolled into the hospital, bloody, handcuffed to the gurney, surrounded by doctors, nurses, and the police. Then I passed out again. Imagine yourself in my position. I doubt you can... but if you can, perhaps you'll understand why I've decided to seek help for my alcoholism.

I have officially bottomed-out. I know I have a problem, because this is what it took for me to admit it. I have a lifetime filled with loss and regret. I started drinking when I was 9 years old. I drank heavily throughout Middle and High School, and constantly my first, and only, semester in college. I've nearly killed myself numerous times, I've ruined all my relationships, and I've lost everything good I've ever had. But I never asked for help. Fortunately for everyone I've known, I'm not violent, just stupid. However, I never thought I was capable of something as ridiculous as what happened that night. It frightens me to think of what might happen if I continue to drink myself blind. I'm thankful that no one, except me, was physically injured. I am in the process of recovery and attempting to "put things right."

I have not had any alcohol since then, and I plan to abstain in the future. My lawyer has spoken with the bar owner who is "heartbroken" over the incident and sympathetic. I never intended to cause any harm, but I know that I acted irresponsibly. The court date has not yet been set, and I have no idea what penalty may be imposed. In Ohio, voluntary intoxication is not a defense. I'm sorry it had to come to this before I was able to admit that I have a problem, and that I need help. I know that I have the love, understanding and support of my family and friends.

I'd also like to make one more thing perfectly clear. We have many young magicians just getting into magic due to its current popularity and I don't want any of them to think that my drinking has helped my creativity and success. It has not. In fact, it has kept me from achieving the personal and professional success I had always hoped to have. I have done all of my best work sober. I wish I had been able to enjoy it and build upon it, but I foolishly threw it all away. I'm hoping it's not too late for me to create a personal life which can serve as a good example for everyone.

1 comment:

theFrog said...

I'm glad he's taking responsibility and getting help... I'm also glad he's not making excuses. That's probably the most honest, heartbreaking and sincere "official statement" I've ever heard and it's absolutely gut-wrenching that someone has to go through those types of difficulties to finally seek help. Hope he gets it.