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Ben Affleck has broken his silence after returning to rehab, saying that getting help is a “sign of courage, not weakness or failure.”
In a statement posted Thursday on his Instagram account, the actor said he has found the “strength and support” to speak out about his illness after recently completing a 40-day stay at a treatment center in Malibu for alcohol addiction.
“Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle,” wrote Affleck, who is currently in outpatient care. “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.”
Affleck thanked the people who have reached out to him on social media about their own experience with addiction. “Your strength is inspiring and is supporting me in ways I didn’t think was possible. It helps to know I am not alone,” he said. “As I’ve had to remind myself, if you have a problem, getting help is a sign of courage, not weakness or failure.”
It was reported that Affleck had checked into rehab in late August, marking the third round of treatment for the actor, who has been transparent about his struggles with sobriety in the past.
Affleck completed his last round of treatment for alcohol in March 2017. “I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be,” he said in a statement at the time. “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.”
He had also thanked his estranged wife, Jennifer Garner — the mother of his three children, who filed for divorce in 2017 two years after their split — for her support. Garner was photographed taking Affleck to the Malibu treatment center in August.
“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,” the Batman star said at the time. “This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery.”
In a 2012 cover story interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck opened up about his first stint in rehab as a 29-year-old in 2001. “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 explained. “It was more a ‘let me get myself straight,’ before it became a rite of passage.”
Read Affleck’s full statement, below.
This week I completed a forty day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remain in outpatient care.
The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say. 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. 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 is 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.
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