Sir Anthony Hopkins is about to turn 83 and is celebrating 45 years of sobriety. The Westwood actor posted a heartfelt video message on social media with a message to those struggling. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and mental health awareness and recovery are more important than ever. He captioned the post, “With gratitude, I celebrate 45 years of sobriety.”
“Well New years is coming, it been a tough year full of grief and sadness for many many many people. But Forty-five years ago today, I had a wake-up call. I was heading for disaster drinking myself to death. I‘m not preaching but I got a little message, a little thought that said: ‘Do you want to live or die?’ and I said I want to live. Suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing. Sometimes I have my off days and sometimes some doubt but all in all I say hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday,” Hopkins said. “You young people, don’t give up, just keep in there, just keep fighting, be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. That sustained me through my life.”
Sir Anthony, was knighted in 1993 for services to the arts and in 2018 he opened up about how his alcohol addiction almost derailed his acting career. Anthony is regarded as one of the greatest living actors and is best known for his role as cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 film The Silence Of The Lambs. The actor revealed that he started acting because he had he “had nothing better to do” and said his drinking became a problem while working in theater, “because that’s what you do in theater, you drink.” The award-winning actor admitted he “was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover.” Hopkins also said he was “disgusted, busted and not to be trusted” while he was drinking.
His turning point came when a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in December 1975 asked him “why don’t you just trust in God?” Hopkins said that his desire to drink virtually dissolved right then and there, “never to return.” During a speech for the LEAP Foundation Hopkins told high school and college students, “I believe that we are capable of so much. From my own life, I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that. We can talk ourselves into death or we can talk ourselves into the best life we’ve ever lived,“ the Welsh actor added at the time. “None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny.” Hopkins also had this advice for the kids: “say yes to everything. Say yes and take the risk.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.