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‘Be kind to yourself:’ Anthony Hopkins offers an uplifting New Year’s message on his 47th anniversary of sobriety

<i>Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images</i><br/>Anthony Hopkins
Getty Images
Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images
Anthony Hopkins

By Zoe Sottile, CNN

Anthony Hopkins has a lot to celebrate this New Year’s Eve.

The 85-year-old Welsh actor took to Instagram on Friday to celebrate the New Year and discuss his experiences with alcoholism and sobriety.

“I just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year,” he said in a video posted to the platform. “I’m celebrating 47 years today of sobriety. But this is a message not meant to be heavy, but I hope helpful.”

Hopkins addressed “people struggling” and emphasized the importance of self-love and compassion in the video. “Be kind to yourself,” he said. “Be kind. Stay out of the circle of toxicity with people if they offend you. Live your life. Be proud of your life.”

The actor shared his own experiences with alcoholism. He stopped drinking in 1975. “Forty-seven years ago, I was in a desperate situation, in despair, and uh, probably not long to live,” he said in the video. “And I just had to realize there was something really wrong with me. But I didn’t realize it was a kind of condition — a mental, physical, emotional condition called alcoholism or addiction.”

He urged others experiencing addiction to seek help. “Talk to someone, talk to someone you respect, whether it’s a counselor or to go to a 12-step program,” he said.

“It doesn’t cost a thing. But it will give you a whole new life,” he said of 12-step programs. “I’m an old sinner like everyone, but all I can say is I have the best life I can even imagine, and I can’t even take credit for it. So wherever you are, get help, don’t be ashamed, be proud of yourself.”

Hopkins also expressed support for young people experiencing bullying and mental health challenges like depression.

“Be proud of yourself. Don’t listen to them,” he said. “Don’t let yourself be put down. Depression is part of being alive.”

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