“Some people are sort of uncomfortable, [but] it doesn’t really bother me to talk about alcoholism and being an alcoholic,” the Triple Frontier star, 46, told coanchor Hoda Kotb. “It’s part of my life. It’s something that I deal with. It doesn’t have to sort of subsume my whole identity and be everything, but it is something that you know you have to work at.”
Affleck acknowledged that he “had a problem” and decided to address it by seeking ongoing help.
“I take some pride in that,” he said. “It’s about yourself, your life, your family and … we encounter these kinds of hurdles and we have to deal with them.”
The two-time Oscar winner has completed three stints in rehab through the years: in 2001, 2017 and 2018. His ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, encouraged his most recent 40-day stay at a treatment center after staging an intervention with a sober coach in August.
“The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say,” Affleck wrote on Instagram in October after leaving rehab. “It’s given me the strength and support to speak about my illness with others. Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family.”
He continued, “So many people have reached out on social media and spoken about their own journeys with addiction. To those people, I want to say thank you. Your strength is inspiring and supporting me in ways I didn’t think was possible. It helps to know I am not alone. As I’ve had to remind myself, if you have a problem, getting help is a sign of courage, not weakness or failure. With acceptance and humility, I continue to avail myself with the help of so many people and I am grateful to all those who are there for me. I hope down the road I can offer an example to others who are struggling.”
Throughout his ongoing battle, the Gone Girl star — who shares daughters Violet, 13, and Seraphina, 10, and son Samuel, 7, with Garner — has continued to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
“Ben works incredibly hard to follow a program that makes sense for him and his journey,” a source previously told Us Weekly. “He attends meetings, works with a sober coach and takes whatever steps he feels will help him along the way. Knowing when to seek help is one of those steps, and his willingness to do so is a major step in the right direction.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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