A few weeks ago, I reported my own experience in watching the rise and fall of paranormal wunderkind, Ryan Buell. It was an article that sparked a LOT of debate and a push to learn more about what was going on in Ryan’s life. Buell had first come to the public’s attention a decade ago in a show called “Paranormal State” in which he and a group of student investigators from Penn State would travel the country helping families who were experience paranormal phenomena in their home. It was among the first shows of its kind and had an endearing quality to many.
Over the last couple of years, there were rumors of drug use, theft, etc. and Buell was arrested after charges were brought against him for booking an event, taking the registration/ticket money, cancelling the event, and never refunding the money. At the time of its publishing, Buell had been arrested, again, this time on domestic violence charges after an altercation with his boyfriend. At the time of his arrest, police said they believed Buell to be under the influence of various substances.
All was quiet for a couple of weeks, and then on May 27th, someone posted to his Facebook account that Ryan had been in rehab and that the family was requesting that the public respect his privacy as he continued to work through the program. On June 9th, Ryan himself posted that he was seeing his family for the first time in several months. It seemed that, perhaps, Buell was finally getting some help.
And then, on June 10th, I received a notification that Ryan Buell was live streaming on Facebook. I quickly clicked on the link and sat with a growing smile on my face as Ryan began to talk about the rehab facility that he was in and that he was facing his addiction and working the 12 steps of recovery. It was really enough just to see his face to realize a change was happening.
He no longer looked emaciated…his eyes had some life in them. His energy was high, and he was really able to engage with the audience watching.
Really, this was the guy who his fans remembered. There was obvious joy in his voice and a seriousness when he spoke about what he was working through. He honestly seems to be putting the work in and is reaping the results from that. There seemed to be genuine remorse in his voice as he spoke of the hurt that he had caused his family, friends and fans.
Now I can hear some of you out there saying, “So, where’s my money?”
Once again, he addressed that as part of his recovery. Working the steps requires an addict to make amends unless it would cause harm to themselves or others to do so. He gave the example that if you stole from Walmart while you were high, there may be no clear way to pay that back, but you could spend some time working for the charity of their choice.
Through it all, Buell remained as open as he could, and you could see there was still struggle in dealing with everything that was going on in his life. He didn’t address every question, but he addressed more than he had in over a year. He spoke of nightmares and desires and the toll that addiction had taken on his relationships.
As the live stream came to an end, he read aloud a comment from a fan saying, “I almost thought we had lost you.” Buell stared into the distance for a moment and then replied, “Almost did, I think…I almost did too.”
You can watch the entire Facebook live stream below. I myself offer my sincerest good wishes of strength and determination to Ryan as he continues his recovery road.