To the outside world, Michael J. Fox seems to handle his battle with Parkinson’s disease with grace and courage.
However, the 52-year-old star (whose new TV series, “The Michael J. Fox Show,” makes its debut on NBC tonight) has revealed he wasn’t always able to approach his debilitating illness with the self-deprecating humor and confidence he now projects.
“My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily,” the actor told Howard Stern on his Sirius XM Radio show Wednesday, of how he initially coped with the diagnosis. “I used to drink to party, but now I was drinking alone and… every day.
“Once I did that, it was then about a year of like a knife fight in a closet, where I just didn’t have my tools to deal with it,” he added.
Michael’s wife, Tracy Pollan (who guest stars on his new show) is the one who helped him get through the dark period following his diagnosis.
”[She asked me,] ‘Is this what you want?’” he said, adding that he then joined Alcoholics Anonymous and sought therapy treatment.
Now, Michael says things are “pretty great.”
“The Michael J. Fox Show” premiere Thursday night at 9/8c on NBC.