It’s been more than a decade since Tim McGraw first embraced a life of sobriety.

In a new essay he penned for Esquire, the country superstar recounts the dark day when he realized the bottle had gotten the better of him — and how turning to wife Faith Hill for help changed everything.

“I remember a moment when I was getting out of bed and going to the liquor cabinet and taking a big shot at 8:00 in the morning and thinking, ‘I have to wake the kids up,’” he wrote.

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This instantly led him to an epiphany. “I went straight to my wife and said, ‘This is where I’m at,'” he revealed.

“I was scared,” McGraw admitted. “She just grabbed me and hugged me and changed my life.”

In a 2014 interview with Men’s Health, McGraw got candid about his decision to quit drinking. “When your wife tells you it’s gone too far, that’s a big wake-up call. That, and realizing you’re gonna lose everything you have. Not monetarily, not career-wise, but family-wise,” he said, via People

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“It got to the point where my kids were getting older, and it was way past the point that they noticed it. And I noticed that they noticed. That’s enough to straighten you out,” he said of the couple’s three daughters. “I drank too much. I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but use your imagination.”