Over the last few weeks, actor Ben Affleck has been opening up about his sobriety, the struggles that have come along with it, his marriage to ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, and his struggle with depression for the last two decades. In a detailed interview with Diane Sawyer that aired on Good Morning America, Affleck gets candid with the veteran journalist about his life the last several years, confessing he's made mistakes but is ready to turn his life around.
"I get depressed. I take antidepressants. They are very helpful for me," he said. "I've taken them since I was 26 years old various different kinds and I switch and try this or that."
While they have helped him, he didn't fail to mention they do have some with side effects that he says doctors usually forget to mention.
"Often times they won't tell you about some awful side effects and you come back and say, 'Why am I 60 pounds heavier?' And they are like, 'Oh you gained a little weight,'" he added.
As Affleck ventures into this new life after predicting he's got about another 40 years left, one way he would like to start living differently is by finding "meaning" and that includes attending church — something he only use to do at the request of Garner, but now admits it's something he enjoys.
"I'd like to find some sort of sense of meaning and purpose. I was not raised religious. I am not a very good Christian, although I go to church with my kids because it was important to Jennifer and now I go too and I like it," he explained.
Affleck also discussed his painful divorce that he admits having regrets about telling The New York Times, "I never thought I was gonna get divorced. 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, and it upset me because it meant I wasn't who I thought I was, and that was so painful and so disappointing in myself."
Sawyer read a letter he wrote to Garner that publicly thanked her stating, "What I want to say publicly and privately is, 'Thank you. Thank you for being thoughtful, considerate, responsible, and a great mom and person."0comments
The 47-year-old said he didn't always struggle with alcohol; in fact, he drank with caution, but when he and Garner's relationship started going downhill, that's when the drinking became a problem. Despite his three trips to rehab, Garner stayed by his side out of support because she wanted to aid in his recovery so that he could be there for their kids. The former couple share Violet, 14; Seraphina, 11, and Samuel, 7, together.
"Five years from now Ben Affleck is sober and happy and sees his kids three-and-a-half days a week and has made three or four movies that are interesting to him," he told Sawyer of where he'd like his future self to be. "I directed two [movies] that he is hopefully proud of and is in a healthy, stable, loving, committed relationship."