Artie Lange is more than 7 months sober and looking happy and healthy, and interestingly ... he says his messed up nose is partly to thank for keeping him clean.
The comedian and "Crashing" star tells TMZ ... he likes his pancaked nose because it's a helpful reminder of 30 years of drug abuse and all the terrible places it led him. Seriously terrible -- like accidentally snorting glass -- and much more Artie's not afraid to share.
Of course, this January mug shot following his arrest for a failed drug test while on probation painted the sad picture of how low he'd sunk.
Artie says he wants his story -- and his nose -- to be a cautionary tale for young people to not follow his path, and that fame and fortune don't make you immune to the perils of addiction.
Lange admits it got so bad for him he accepted he was going to die alone in a hotel room and become another victim of drug abuse like some of his comedian buddies before him. Fortunately, Artie says God had another plan for him.
He's in recovery now, and shared a photo of himself on Twitter this week at the 7.5-month sober mark. He tells us staying focused on comedy and writing is helping him stay clean ... along with sticking to the 12-step program and going to meetings.
As for his gnarly nose ... Artie tells us he caught wind of our interview with "Botched" Dr. Paul Nassif while he was in jail, when the Doc said he'd fix Lange's nose if he could kick his drug habit.
Artie tells us he'd be down for that eventually, but for now ... his reverse Pinocchio nose stays.