Dad-of-three and actor Ben Affleck has spoken candidly about his alcohol addiction and recent stint in a rehab facility. He’s hoping to destigmatise addiction issues and inspire families – and individuals – to reach out for support, rather than feel ashamed.
I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. …
The star wrote very frankly about his ongoing addiction struggle on his Facebook page, in a vulnerable statement that’s struck a chord with fans and followers.
“I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront,” he wrote.
He said he sought to be the best man – and the best dad – he could be, and also wanted his kids to know it’s important to ask for help when things are going wrong.
“I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be,” Ben wrote.
“I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step.”
Families often keep struggles with addiction close to their chests, but this secretive response to a challenging problem helps nobody. Skeletons in the closet just isolate people and create an unnecessary cycle of shame. It’s far, far better to step into the light and get some help, as Ben can attest.
Affleck says his friends and family have been a vital part of his recovery process, singling out ex-partner actor Jennifer Garner for her unwavering support during a challenging time.
The pair have three children together – Violet, Seraphina and Sam – and while they separated in 2015, they have not yet divorced.
“I’m lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I’ve done the work I set out to do.”
Affleck explained his time in rehab is just one part of a broader strategy to get his life back on track.
“This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery,” the star wrote.
Ben’s had ongoing issues with addiction, as is often the case, spending time in rehab back in 2001 as well.
“I went to rehab for being 29 and partying too much and not having a lot of boundaries and to clear my head and try to get some idea of who I wanted to be,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Ben’s Facebook followers were inspired by the actor’s up-front post and many related to his struggle, commending him for being open and honest about what he’s been going through.
Addiction is quietly carving a destructive path through many family’s lives, as commenters attested. They offered support and encouragement to Affleck as he works on his recovery.
“I had a friend pass away recently as his demons were too strong for him. He left behind 2 young children. Good for you for dealing with this head on! Your family needs you,” one wrote.
“Good for you. I lost my husband two years ago to alcoholism and it’s heartbreaking. I am praying you keep fighting this demon. Your children need their daddy and clearly Jen loves you immensely too,” another commented.
“As a fellow alcoholic, bravo! I sobered up nearly 30 yrs ago mothers day for daughter so she didn’t have to live in an alcoholic home as I did growing up..since that I’ve stayed sober for me…soo happy for your family as its a family disease! Bless u. It takes courage to face your demons and we all have them, some more than others,” one woman posted.
“My husband and I have gone thru this, we have 5, well 4 children now, my husband has conquered his alcohol and other addictions, it is def possible, and with the great family you have you WILL do just fine,” another wrote.
Here’s hoping that Ben goes from strength to strength – and that other families that are facing similar challenges begin to take those first steps towards support and recovery too.