Ben Affleck Gets Raw About Alcoholism Battle, Family History of Mental Illness

Ben Affleck has been sharing details of his life recently after becoming sober highlighting his divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner, coming to the realization that he was in fact an "alcoholic" and noting how his family is full of people who've suffered from mental illness and alcoholism. In an interview with The New York Times, the actor currently starring in The Way Back, sharing further details of his alcoholic father.

"My dad didn't really get sober until I was 19," Affleck said. "The older I've gotten, the more I recognize that my dad did the best he could. There's a lot of alcoholism and mental illness in my family. The legacy of that is quite powerful and sometimes hard to shake."

Affleck's paternal grandmother died of suicide in a motel when she was just 46 years old. One of his uncles also killed himself with a shotgun, while one of his aunts was a heroin addict.

"It took me a long time to fundamentally, deeply, without a hint of doubt, admit to myself that I am an alcoholic," the 47-year-old said. "The next drink will not be different."

Along with sharing his family's history with addiction, he's also coming clean about his marriage to Garner, even thanking her in a public message.

"What I want to say publicly and privately is, 'Thank you. Thank you for being thoughtful, considerate, responsible, and a great mom and person," Diane Sawyer read the statement from Affleck after a pre-recorded package with the iconic anchor, where he got candid with viewers.

Affleck confessed that he never wanted to get a divorce and become a "split family." He and Garner share three kids together: Violet, 14; Seraphina, 11; and Samuel, 7. The two were married for 10 years after they started dating in 2004, but they called it quits in June 2015 and finalized their divorce three years later in 2018.

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"I didn't want to get divorced, I didn't want to be a divorced person, I really didn't want to be a split family with my children," he explained to Sawyer on GMA Wednesday."It upset me because it meant I wasn't who I thought I was and that was so painful and so disappointing."

Affleck says he wasn't always a heavy drinker, not until his marriage starting falling apart and that's when things got worse, eventually leading to divorce. Thankfully, he's had a number of celebrity friends support his new way of life, including actors Garner's former Alias co-star, Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr, who have both struggled with addiction themselves.