Ben Affleck Reveals His Journey To Becoming 'Sober And Happy' After 'Self-Loathing'

May 13, 2022 by apost team

Ben Affleck was born Aug. 15, 1972, in Berkeley, California, before moving to Massachusetts. Growing up in New England, he was surrounded by people who worked in the arts and regularly attended theater performances with his brother, Casey Affleck, and their mother. The brothers auditioned for roles in local commercials and film productions since their mom was friends with a casting director in the Cambridge area in Massachusetts.

Affleck landed his first official role when he was seven years old and went on to work in more theater productions as he grew older. While attending Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, he became close friends with fellow student and future actor Matt Damon. The two had known each other since they were kids, and both wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Their dreams became a reality, and the two eventually made their way into the acting industry. Their big break came from "Good Will Hunting" in 1997, a movie the pair co-wrote and co-starred in together. Damon had previously written part of the script for a playwriting class at Harvard University and reworked it with Affleck when the two lived together in Los Angeles, California, a few years later. It earned both Affleck and Damon the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1997. Affleck remains the youngest writer to ever win an Oscar for screenwriting to date, as he won the award when he was 25 years old. 

Despite the star's success, he has been very candid about his personal problems to the public and how those impact his life on and away from the big screen. 

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner (2013), (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Being a young bachelor in Hollywood can draw a lot of attention to celebrities. Affleck's whirlwind romances continued, and he dated Jennifer Lopez from 2002 until 2004. The pair met on the set of "Gigli," and began dating shortly afterward. They quickly became one of the most talked-about couples in the media, as their relationship received widespread coverage. Affleck and Lopez got engaged in November 2002 but ended their relationship in January 2004.

Just a few months after his break-up with Lopez, Affleck began dating Jennifer Garner. The two already knew each other and were even friends from their times working together on the sets of "Pearl Harbor" in 2001 and "Daredevil" in 2003. The relationship took off, and the couple married on Jun. 29, 2005, in a private ceremony. Their beautiful family started blossoming shortly after, with their first daughter, Violet, born in December 2005. Their second daughter, Seraphina, was born in January 2009, and their last child and only son, Samuel, was born in February 2012.

Despite a gorgeous family together and their own successful careers, the two actors could not keep their marriage together. Affleck and Garner separated in June 2015, although Affleck continued to live in a guesthouse at the family home until 2017. The couple took the next step and jointly filed for divorce in April 2017, with it being finalized in October 2018. The couple has joined physical and legal custody of all three of their children together. Both Garner and Affleck are still pivotal talking points in the media, albeit separately now, as they have both moved on in their personal lives.

Ben Affleck, Violet Affleck, Seraphina Affleck (2011), (JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty images)

Aside from his very public divorce, Affleck has also been very open about other personal issues in his life. He has told the public he has struggled with not only depression but also alcohol addiction. In an ABC exclusive interview in 2020, the star revealed that he had made plenty of mistakes in his life.

"I have made plenty of mistakes some big some small, I wish I could go back in time and change all types of things but I can't," the star said

His alcohol intake started to turn into a problem for the actor during his marriage to Garner. He told the New York Times in 2021 that he drank normally for the duration of his life until things started to take a turn. 

"I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems," the award winner said

He went on to say, "You're trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can't break. That's at least what happened to me." Affleck said his drinking, while mixed in with his divorce, caused a lot of internal emotions. 

"The biggest regret of my life is this divorce," he revealed. "Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing."

Ben Affleck (2017), (Vera Anderson/WireImage/Getty images)

Since shame fueled his pain, moving forward from it began to bring the highly acclaimed actor back to life. In August 2018, just ahead of his October 2018 divorce, Affleck entered rehab another time. True to the lifelong nature of alcohol addiction, Affleck experienced a relapse short of one year of sobriety. He said that dwelling on his failures ultimately made things worse.

"It's not particularly healthy for me to obsess over the failures — the relapses — and beat myself up," he said. "I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret. But you've got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward." 

He admits that the relapse was not his best time. "Relapse is embarrassing, obviously," he said. "I wish it didn't happen. I really wish it wasn't on the internet for my kids to see. Jen and I did our best to address it and be honest," he admitted

However, these days the actor is acting differently than he has in the past. He is sober now and credits that to his hard work but also to his friends like actor Bradley Cooper and actor Robert Downey Jr. Affleck said he owes these two major props as "guys who have been very supportive and to whom I feel a great sense of gratitude," Affleck said

"One of the things about recovery that I think people sometimes overlook is the fact that it inculcates certain values. Be honest. Be accountable. Help other people. Apologize when you're wrong." 

These days he is looking towards the future as well as better times. 

"Five years from now Ben Affleck is sober and happy and sees his kids three and a half days a week," the star said in 2020.

Ben Affleck (2021), (Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images)

Ben Affleck's sobriety story is a success story we love to see. If you know someone who would be inspired by this story or needs to hear an uplifting story— make sure to send this along to them!

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