Simon Pegg recently opened up to The Guardian newspaper about his long term battle with alcoholism and depression.
Simon poignantly stated during the interview: “One thing [addiction] does is make you clever at not giving anything away. People think junkies and alcoholics are slovenly, unmotivated people. They’re not – they are incredibly organised. They can nip out for a quick shot of whisky and you wouldn’t know they have gone. It’s as if … you are micro-managed by it.”
“I’m an actor, so I acted.”
Simon is currently promoting his most recent film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, released on 25th July.
The famous actor, who has played leading roles in smash hit films including, Mission Impossible III, Shaun Of The Dead, Paul, The World’s End and the successful comic sitcom Spaced, admitted that his acting skills came in handy when it came to keeping his alcohol addiction a secret. He said that most of his fans, work colleagues and even his best friend and frequent co star – Nick Frost, were in the dark around his alcoholism:
“Because I hid it, I’m an actor, so I acted … all the f***ing time.”
Simon, 48, told The Guardian that he had suffered from depression since he was 18 years old, but that he had previously dealt with it by self medicating. He advised that it was whilst shooting Mission Impossible III in 2006 that things started to unravel:
“When I watch that film back, I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic.”
Speaking of his alcoholism, he says: “It was awful, terrible, it (alcoholism) owned me.”
Simon Pegg’s story is not uncommon in those that suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction; the illness of addiction very much lends to leading a double life.
Not every alcoholic or drug addict will lose everything as a result of their addiction; many function well for many years. But ultimately addiction is a progressive disorder of the brain. This is why leaving it untreated is so dangerous.
During the newspaper interview, Simon goes on to speak of how alcoholism finally took over his life and became impossible to hide: “But eventually the signs are too obvious. You have taken the dog for one too many walks.”
Simon realised he needed help, after the birth of his beloved daughter Matilda didn’t help him to stop or control his drinking,
“It was the most cosmic experience (Matilda’s birth) of my life. I thought it would fix things and it just didn’t. Because it can’t. Nothing can, other than a dedicated approach, whether that’s therapy or medication, or whatever.”
The actor feels that finally attending a rehab treatment programme for his alcoholism saved his life: “I got into it (rehab). I got into the reasons I was feeling that way. I went into AA for a while, too.”
He further adds: “I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help.”
Thankfully Simon is now firmly in recovery from alcoholism and is much happier as a result of being sober; looking back on his addiction, he can clearly see how close he came to losing everything: “Because that’s what addiction is like. It’s like you have grown a second head and all it wants to do is destroy itself, and it puts that ahead of everything else – your marriage, children, your job.”
PCPs experience of addiction is that it has the same self destructive traits regardless of the substance involved. It doesn’t even need to be a substance, it can be an activity such as gambling, gaming or sex. The substance or the activity is just a symptom of the destructive and life threatening brain disease that is addiction.
In our opinion, it is only by professionally addressing and healing the root causes of the addiction through an abstinence based treatment programme that an individual can then begin to get well and put their life back together. Intensive inpatient rehab is very conducive to this process.