Russell Brand has come a long way since his days of battling addiction.
While he’ll never forget the downward spiral of his younger years, the Forgetting Sarah Marshall actor doesn’t like to think about his drug abusing past.
In a candid new interview with Us Weekly, the comedian said reliving his encounters with heroin — which began at just 19 years old — is too dangerous to dwell on.
The father-of-one, who is 14 years sober, confessed:
“I can’t think about it too much because I start to miss it. If you’re in pain, psychological pain, you feel like you have a knot in your tummy. If pain is a fist, heroin dives into it, opens it up and relaxes you. It feels so beautiful. It feels like a cuddle, like comfort, like being in your mother’s arms. It’s so sweet and perfect.”
But the euphoric sensation doesn’t last long. After getting hooked on the drug, Brand said his world was starting to unravel — he was already “smoking too much, drinking too much, doing cocaine, taking quite a lot of acid and looking at too much porn.”
Soon, the comedian was all alone, with nothing in his life except the drugs he was addicted to. He explained:
“There were terrible, terrible moments of loneliness in a flat where all I had were drugs. That was all I needed. I had a job at MTV. It went. I had a radio show. It went. Everything was going. My friends left me. Girlfriends left me. It was very scary.”
Yet the cycle continued. The 42-year-old said that heroin was the only thing holding his life together for a period of four years, until his then-manager and friend Chip Sommers stepped in to help.
After years of “getting into trouble with the police for shoplifting and public disturbances,” Brand’s friend intervened before it was too late. He added:
“Chip Sommers said, ├óΓé¼╦£If you keep doing this, within six months, you’ll be in prison, a lunatic asylum or dead.’ In retrospect, he was right. I was six months away from a lot more trouble. I got out before I got too desperate.”
But drugs weren’t the only vice overpowering the performer. Brand admitted that getting clean from heroin brought out another insatiable vice — sex addiction:
“The situation got out of hand when I was clean. If you don’t deal with the source, the condition will migrate and morph and attach to something else.”
Thankfully, the Brit got his addictions under control by enlisting in a 12-step program with a community of mentors to help guide him.
Now, happily married with a one-year-old daughter, Brand hopes to help others struggling with his own book Recovery: Freedom for Our Addictions.
Ch-ch-check out more of Brand’s interview (below) on the struggles to his recovery, his marriage to Katy Perry, being a father, and more!
On the biggest hurdles of recovery: “Recognizing you have a problem and being willing to change your perspective. Most people don’t think that they have a problem. We’ve been trained to live in pain. To get up, work all the time, be in s–t relationships. The biggest challenge is going, ├óΓé¼╦£Hold on a minute, I don’t want to do that. I’m not going to.’ And it’s not about being a selfish person. It’s about listening to your feelings and responding to your feelings.”
On his biggest vices:
“Drugs then sex then caring too much about other people’s opinion of me. Drugs are just the obvious one. If someone is a crack addict or a heroin addict, they get into problems real quickly. But if you’re obsessed with what other people think about you or you’re obsessed with social media, it consumes your life.”
On hitting rock bottom:
“Rock bottom, I believe, is the point where you say, ├óΓé¼╦£I can’t do this anymore’ and you start going upward. I had terrible moments of self harm. I was doing a stand up show in Scotland. On stage, I broke a bottle and cut myself. Then, I got into a fight with security and was thrown through the door. I had to get stitches in my leg and the doctors said if the cut had been one inch to the left, they would have had to amputate my leg from the knee because it would have done major arterial damage. There is still a scar there to remind me.”
On how he’s changed since being married to Katy:
“I’ve changed a lot in the last five years. I don’t compare my relationships now to previous relationships out of respect to my present wife and to Katy Perry. I think I’m an easier person to be with now. I’m also in a very different situation. I’m dependent on my wife. In relationships, there is always going to be a level of dependency. But I try not to project my problems onto other people and perhaps I’ve not always been like that. ”
On how fatherhood has affected him:
“It has made me recognize that what I want and what I need is not important. It’s what she wants and what she needs. That’s a good thing because I can be a very self-obsessed guy.”
On the birth of his daughter:
“She was so beautiful. She came out perfect. It was like a drug in that it changed my consciousness in a way that I could not have anticipated. By the time I held her, I felt like an animal in a cave. I felt such strong feelings of protectiveness and love that I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want anyone near her. The feelings were extremely intense and to be honest they haven’t really gone away.”
[Image via WENN.]