Anthony Hopkins Celebrates 47 Years Sober

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Sir Anthony Hopkins is celebrating 47 years sober with an inspiring message for the world. Addressing his fans on Instagram, the 85-year-old legendary actor spoke about finding sobriety and freeing yourself from bullies.

Anthony Hopkins Addressed the Public Before His 85th Birthday — to Celebrate 47 Years of Sobriety

“Hello everyone, I just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year,” said Hopkins from a pristinely clean office space.

“And um, also to say, I’m celebrating 47 years today of sobriety. But this is a message not meant to be heavy, but I hope helpful. I am a recovering alcoholic. And to you out there, know there are people struggling.

“In this day and age of cancel and hatred and non-compromise. Children being bullied. I say to this: Be kind to yourself. Be kind. Stay out of the circle of toxicity with people if they offend you. Live your life. Be proud of your life.

“47 years ago, I was in a desperate situation and despair. And probably not long to live. And I just happened to acknowledge one day that there was something really wrong with me. But I didn’t realize it was a kind of condition. Mental, physical, emotional condition called alcoholism or addiction.

“I’m not an expert on drugs, I’m not an expert on anything. I know nothing. Except, I have found a life where no one bullies me.”

Hopkins Has Been Candid About His Struggles with Alcoholism, Credits Faith & Alcoholics Anonymous for His Sobriety

Sir Anthony Hopkins has previously opened up about his past battles with alcoholism. Notably, he was a motivational speaker at the annual LEAP Foundation (Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential) summit in 2018. There, he addressed 500 high school and college students about self-determination and how sobriety played into his success.

Hopkins told the LEAP audience that he reached a “turning point” in his life in his late 30s (per The Hollywood Reporter). Describing himself as “disgusted, busted and not to be trusted,” he said it was a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting who finally reached him.

“Why don’t you just trust in God?” she asked. Those simple words truly resonated with the Welsh actor, who said he suddenly lost his desire to drink.

“I believe that we are capable of so much,” Hopkins told the students. “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. None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny.”

Hopkins also said that he stumbled upon acting as a result of “nothing better to do.” He described himself as an “uptight loner” as a child who wasn’t very “bright” and was often bullied by his peers. The isolation eventually led him to drink. And, once in involved in theatre, he found that drinking was very common in the field. Inevitably, Hopkins had used theatre, and then alcohol, as an escape for himself, on numerous levels. And part of that stemmed from being bullied.

The Oscar Winner Said He Was Bullied as a Kid, Started Drinking as an Actor

Anthony Hopkins’ impressive acting career has earned him the honor of being knighted by the late Queen Elizabeth II. He’s won 2 Oscars among his 70 awards and 125 nominations for his work. Known for his serious and unshakeable method acting, the Hitchcock and Silence of the Lambs actor has over 143 acting credits to his name. He’s also a producer, director, writer, and musical composer.

But most of Hopkins’ acting history has actually been while sober. It’s hard to envision for anyone born in the 80s or beyond. But when you look at his IMDb, you see that he was primarily playing TV roles from 1960-1975. Once he became sober, he was no longer hungover at work, which he told the LEAP audience made him “difficult to work with.”

In his Instagram post, Hopkins then addressed anyone who is being bullied.

“Take heed. You be proud of yourself. Don’t listen to them. Don’t let yourself be put down. Depression is part of being alive. Sometimes, anxiety. Life is tough. But if you need help with any addiction or problem, talk to someone. Talk to someone you respect.

“Whether it’s a counselor, or to go to a 12-step program. There are 12-step programs all over the world. Every city. Every small city. Everywhere. Every community. 12-step programs can help you identify what you are. It doesn’t cost a thing, but it will give you a whole new life.

“I’m not a do-gooder. I’m an old sinner like everyone,” he joked. “But I have the best life I could even imagine. And I can’t even take credit for it.”

“So, wherever you are. Don’t be ashamed,” Hopkins continued. “Be proud of yourselves. Whatever you do. Don’t let anyone put you down. Don’t let anyone put you down. If you’re going to be angry, be angry at them. Don’t let anyone put you down. Celebrate yourself.”

Being Bullied & Substance Abuse Can Often Go Hand-in-Hand

Sir Anthony Hopkins’ words came just before his 85th birthday and just in time to resonate with anyone considering sobriety as part of a New Year’s resolution. But he was also speaking to the times, and on a topic that all too many have some experience with. It seems that everyone these days has either struggled with alcohol or drug addiction or knows someone who has. Bullying is all too common as well, with suicide rates skyrocketing in younger generations due to the combination of bullying and internet trolls.

Further, it is common for those who have been abused by bullying behavior to turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. Tragically, substance abuse can lead to self-blame as users fail to reach their goals while struggling with hangovers, addictions, and other negative consequences. That can lead to a negative cycle that perpetuates substance abuse, as addicts aren’t processing their emotions and thoughts due to a lack of support.

12-Step Programs for Alcoholics & Their Loved Ones Are Available Worldwide

When Hopkins mentioned that Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs are available everywhere, he was right. There are over 123,000 AA groups around the world in 180 countries. And there are online AA groups for anyone who can’t travel or just prefers to meet via a computer or phone. (You can find your nearest AA group here).

There are also Al-Anon support groups worldwide for families and friends of people suffering from alcoholism and addiction. Additionally, this can be a vital resource for those who may find themselves as the scapegoat for a loved one’s addictions. On that note, they say that admitting that you have a problem, i.e., Step 1, is the hardest!

Almost everyone has been touched by addiction in some way over the course of their lives. Whether it’s witnessing a loved one suffer or a lonely struggle with yourself, know that you are not alone. And, as Anthony Hopkins said, don’t let the bullies make you doubt yourself. You are strong. You will get through this. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s everywhere. You just need to be open to it.

Happy New Year.

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