In a new interview with Parade magazine, Michael J Fox reveals that when he was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, he turned to alcohol. “For a time I dealt with it with alcohol, which turned out to be a disaster. I’d always been kind of a partier, but this was the first time I was drinking in order not to feel something. It had a dark purpose.”
The actor eventually quit drinking for good and now Fox credits his wife of 23-years, Tracy Pollan, with helping him get sober. He continues, “About a year after my diagnosis, I woke up one morning and saw Tracy’s face…She said, ‘Is this what you want?’ Instantly I knew – no, this isn’t what I want or who I am. So I quit drinking in ’92.
“I recognized I had choices about drinking, and that made me realize I had choices about Parkinson’s as well… Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”
Fox has been a longtime Parkinson’s disease advocate and in 2000 he founded The Michael J Fox Foundation, which funds research programs in the hopes of finding a cure.