jamie foxx

JAMIE FOXX TURNS 50: HOW HE OVERCOME ALCOHOLISM & LOSING HIS MIND AT 18

Jamie Foxx opens up about his struggles.

Original Source: blackdoctor.org

Jamie Foxx is best known as the talented singer, actor and writer. In his many roles, Jamie always adds a little something extra that shows his incredible work ethic like in Any Given Sunday, or his comedic side as “Wanda” in the In Living Color series, or his award-winning serious acting in the biopic, Ray about the life and trial of Ray Charles.

But it was that during that time after playing Ray, the now, 50-year-old Jamie was almost about to lose it all due to his extreme partying and alcoholism.

It was Oprah and other members of the Black Hollywood that told Jamie he was going down the wrong path. Oprah told Jamie that he was ruining his career, and that it was high time that he straightened up, and said, “All of this gallivanting and all this kind of s**t that’s not what you want to do. I want to take you somewhere.” She then took him to a party where it was really an intervention that involved Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier and a few other actors, who helped Jamie sober up, and pushed him towards living a more responsible life.

This wasn’t the first time that Jamie used alcohol to cope with different things going on in his life. When filming another role, Jamie reflected on something that happened in his teens that nearly took him over the age of insanity.

“I was in a bad place because I felt like I might be literally losing my mind,” Jamie says. “I’ve always had a childhood fear of losing my mind. I needed someone to help bring me out of it.”

That someone was a psychiatrist, whom Foxx started seeing midway through filming one of his lead roles. What he explored in the therapy sessions was a deep-seated dread of mental illness that was exacerbated by an incident when he was 18, when his drink was spiked by the hallucinogenic drug PCP (phencyclidine) at a college party.

Foxx had been playing piano since he was five years old, and at 18 he won a music scholarship to study at the United States International (now Alliant) University in San Diego. One night, at a party in the dorm, he was sipping a glass of whisky when he suddenly felt terrible – the room was moving, the faces of the other people were contorted”. Someone had slipped PCP into his glass as a ‘practical joke’.

“I know who it was, but he wasn’t a friend. I was drinking whisky and it didn’t taste funny, so I had no idea. It took about 15 minutes and I knew something was wrong. I said to my room-mate,…

…’Something is going on, and I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to ride it out.’”

“That was the last thing I said, and then I was almost in a coma and I couldn’t move, couldn’t talk, couldn’t even say, “Take me to the hospital.” My friend could see something was badly wrong and he took me to the emergency room.”

Another friend, Mark Provart, “stayed at the hospital with me. Then he took me back to the dorm and I was afraid of the dark and he would talk to me every night and calm me down and say stuff like, ‘You’re OK, the demons aren’t real.’ He saved my life.”

Foxx, now 41, says he suffered flashbacks regularly over the next 11 months, and had one or two more years afterwards – even into his thirties.

“It felt like all of my fears were coming true and I was going crazy.”

“I read up on PCP after it happened. It leaves a fingerprint and you can’t get it out of your system. It happened to me when I was 18 and I had 11 months of harsh flashbacks, and then when I was 26 I had a flashback just like that (snaps his fingers) – and another one when I was 32, and that was the last one, but I always worry about it coming back.”

“How did it make me feel? Like living in your worst nightmares. You’re afraid of the dark, afraid of things you see on the television, you feel that things are coming at you. I felt paranoid, and paranoia is craziness. It’s not good.”

Since then, Jamie continues to push past his fears with the help of his family, his daughter and others.  Now, in addition to new Hollywood movies coming out in 2018, Foxx is also the executive producer and host of a music gameshow, Beat Shazam, based on the popular song app on FOX TV.

%d bloggers like this: