Brad Pitt has likely been told millions of times that he would be dashing wearing nothing but a paper bag but for his feature in "GQ Style," eight days of glamorous shots were done. The settings ranged from rugged to elegant, with the star subject looking gaunter than he has in previous magazine poses. Not to worry about his health, because at 53, Pitt is feeling fitter than ever, both physically and mentally. It took some deep probing through the past seven months to come to a place of peace with his current life.

Perfectly pictured in national parks and finding himself

There are three covers featuring Brad Pitt, from beach coasts to wheat fields and in between, and that’s part of what drew the famous father to consent to the project.

He's always dreamed of a road trip, on a motorcycle, as pictured, through these national parks, the natural treasures of the nation.

After a month of simply “crashing” on the floor of a friend’s house, Brad Pitt found it very hard to face the echoes of a home with no children, and even harder to face some hard facts about himself. He couldn't deny that “there were a few spots along the road where I’ve been absolutely tired of myself,” and he knew he had hit “a big one.” Like many others, Pitt has found that those moments have a purpose as a “huge generator for change,” and the first big change was tossing the bottle. Brad confesses that there hasn't been “a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something.” The actor realized that the alcohol that had always been his “pacifier” had become a prevailing problem, and it was on the brink of taking everything that he cherished most.

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Six months and staying in touch with feelings

Brad Pitt today hasn't touched a drink in six months so that numbing sensation bestowed by alcohol has been replaced by surges of deep emotion. When he talks about the “feelings in my fingertips again,” his reference is far deeper than physical sensation. It took three different tries to find the right therapist, but Brad stayed with it. The third time was the charm, and he has tackled the tough feelings that trigger any addiction, attesting “you either deny them all your life or you answer them and evolve.” Brad Pitt is on the path to becoming a truly present dad in the lives of his children as he has never been before.

The leading man did not discuss ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, at any depth, but he did credit her for not conducting all the dealings of Parents and kids in court. He recalled what one of her lawyers stressed, that, “nobody wins in court,” and especially not the children, and that fact is multiplied by six for the Jolie-Pitt clan, with Maddox 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and twins, Knox and Vivienne, 8.

It has been a tough transition to have only supervised visitation, with final details of custody and child-sharing to be hammered out in the divorce settlement. Pitt and Jolie are personally involved in those aspects.

No matter how peaceable parents try to keep proceedings, the dissolution of a family has lasting pain, and Brad Pitt describes that as “very, very jarring” for their children, each at different, and very crucial, stages of emotional development. At last, though, Brad Pitt is in the place to feel those emotions, and the years to come of joys and hurts with his children, with a new and true understanding.