Michael J Fox Once Shared That When He Hit Rock Bottom, He Felt 'Regret And Pain'
Dec 02, 2021 by apost team
Michael J. Fox, 59, is a revered actor whose work goes back to the late 1970s. He rose to fame with his role on "Family Ties" before becoming a bonafide icon of the '80s in the wildly popular Back to the Future film franchise.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 at the age of 29 but only went public with the diagnosis seven years later. He first quit acting in 2000 as his condition worsened but continued to take on guest roles. Since then, the 59-year-old has reprised many roles on the small screen on "Scrubs," "Boston Legal," "Designated Survivor," "The Good Wife," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Rescue Me" – even bagging an Emmy win for the latter in 2009. He even starred in his own short-lived sitcom, the "Michael J. Fox Show."
During his previous interviews, Fox had revealed that his 40-year-spanning acting career would be coming to a bittersweet end. The Emmy-award-winning Hollywood legend also revealed plans for retirement in his memoir, "No Time Like the Future," as his Parkinson's disease continues to progress.
"The nascent diminishment in my ability to download words and repeat them verbatim is just the latest ripple in the pond," Fox wrote in his memoir, according to TODAY. "There are reasons for my lapses in memorization — be they age, cognitive issues with the disease, distraction from the constant sensations of Parkinson's, or lack of sensation because of the spine — but I read it as a message, an indicator."
Fox has endured a lot throughout his life and in 2020, he opened up about the darkest moment in his life.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video
Even with such an incredible filmography and the awards he continues to win, Fox admitted that acting is no longer a viable career option for him. "There is a time for everything, and my time of putting in a twelve-hour workday, and memorizing seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me," Fox wrote in his book. "At least for now." This is a loss for many fans of the actor who would have loved to continue seeing him on the silver screen, but Fox wants to spend quality time with his family.
Back in November 2020, Fox spoke candidly to PEOPLE about his 30-year-long battle with Parkinson's as well as a tumor scare in 2018, which saw the actor go under the knife to remove it.
"My short-term memory is shot," Fox said. "I always had a real proficiency for lines and memorization. And I had some extreme situations where the last couple of jobs I did were actually really word-heavy parts. I struggled during both of them."
Fox also spoke about his "darkest moment" in life – when doctors found a noncancerous tumor in his spine two years ago. According to the actor, the tumor was growing rapidly and was causing much pain in his whole body. "I was heading for paralysis if I didn't get it operated on," he said.
Fox underwent the risky surgery that same year and then went on a four-month recovery journey, which saw him learn to walk again. After his recovery, he and his family vacationed in Martha's Vinyard before returning to New York alone to film a cameo for a Spike Lee film.
On the day of his shooting, the 59-year-old fell and broke his arm. "That was definitely my darkest moment," Fox said.
"I just snapped. I was leaning against the wall in my kitchen, waiting for the ambulance to come, and I felt like, 'This is as low as it gets for me.' It was when I questioned everything. Like, 'I can't put a shiny face on this. There's no bright side to this, no upside. This is just all regret and pain.' "
As his condition progresses, he has found that he can no longer do the things he used to enjoy, like acting, sketching, and playing the guitar. He's now found an alternative creative outlet; writing – which, luckily, he's enjoying. As his ability to work in his field diminishes, Fox says the key to coping is optimism, gratitude, and acceptance.
"Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance," he said.
"Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn't mean that you can't endeavor to change. It doesn't mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on."
Although he says the last couple of years have been his most challenging so far, he prefers to look on the bright side of life by focusing on his blessings.
We admire Michael J. Fox for his strength and, although we're sad he's leaving his acting days behind him, we have a feeling this isn't the last we'll see of him. What do you think of Fox retiring from acting? Let us know your thoughts, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!