Sir Anthony Hopkins is celebrating 45 years of sobriety. The 82-year-old acting legend announced this week that he last had a drink more than four decades ago. On Dec. 29, he posted a video in which he reflected on his struggle with alcoholism and his lengthy triumph over his addiction.
“Well, the new year is coming. It’s been a tough year full of grief and sadness for many, many people,” Hopkins began in the video that was posted to Twitter, which was captioned, “With gratitude, I celebrate 45 years of sobriety.”
“But 45 years ago today, I had a wake-up call,” he said. “I was heading for disaster, drinking myself to death. I’m not preachy, but I got a message — a little thought that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?’. And I said, ‘I want to live.’ And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing.”
Check out his whole thoughtful message in the clip below:
With gratitude, I celebrate 45 years of sobriety. pic.twitter.com/fxzMRGlI4m
— Anthony Hopkins (@AnthonyHopkins) December 29, 2020
Hopkins went on to say that while he has his “off” days and periods of doubt, he encourages others who are struggling with addiction to “hang in there.”
“Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday,” the Academy Award-winning actor said.
He encouraged young people not to give up and to keep fighting, advising them to “be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. That’s sustained me through my life.”
“Happy new year. This is going to be the best year,” he concluded. “Thank you.”
Previously, Hopkins has attributed his decision to quit drinking to a woman he met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 1975, who encouraged him to “trust in God.”
The actor’s video has been liked more than 600,000 times since it was tweeted, and many people in the replies praised him for his perseverance and honesty in sharing his story.
In 2018, Hopkins revealed that he was “very difficult to work with” during the early part of his career due to alcoholism, and he believes sobriety is what enabled him to go on to have so much success.
“We can talk ourselves into death or we can talk ourselves into the best life we’ve ever lived,” he said during his remarks at a conference put on by the LEAP Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to teach young adults how to lead successful lives. “None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny.”