He is known for resolutely putting on a happy face.
But in the new People issue Michael J Fox, 59, revealed the ‘darkest moment’ that left even him unable to find an ‘upside.’
The nightmare period came in 2018 after he suffered a spinal tumor. And then right after he got it excised, the Back To The Future star broke his arm in a fall. Both were unrelated to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Candor: In the new People issue Michael J. Fox, 59, revealed the ‘darkest moment’ that left even him unable to find an ‘upside’
Although he suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has been candid to the public about it for decades, these other two health issues were unconnected to it.
When the excruciating noncancerous tumor was discovered ‘I was heading for paralysis if I didn’t get it operated on,’ Michael said.
The TV and movie star, who is plugging his upcoming memoir No Time Like The Future, has landed the new cover of People and told the magazine about his crises.
He explained his tumor ‘was constricting the [spinal] cord, so they had to be very careful in removing it so they wouldn’t do further damage.’
Rough time: The nightmare period came in 2018 after he suffered a spinal tumor – and then right after getting it excised broke his arm in a fall (pictured in August 2018)
After the surgery Michael had to spend four months regaining the ability to walk but eventually felt he was on the upswing.
He was in his New York apartment alone after a family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard when he broke his arm while taking a tumble in the kitchen.
Michael had dashed into New York without his family so he could shoot a cameo for Spike Lee there and his injury came the morning he was scheduled for the gig.
‘That was definitely my darkest moment. I just snapped. I was leaning against the wall in my kitchen, waiting for the ambulance to come, and I felt like: “This is as low as it gets for me,”‘ he shared with the magazine.
Troubled times: Although he suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has been candid to the public about it for decades, these other two health issues were unconnected to it; seen in November 2018
‘It was when I questioned everything. Like: “I can’t put a shiny face on this. There’s no bright side to this, no upside. This is just all regret and pain,”‘ Michael added.
His own low spirits proceeded to make him feel that he had been the wrong man to have been promoting an upbeat attitude to his fans.
‘Parkinson’s, my back, my arm…it still didn’t add up to moving the needle on the misery index compared to what some people go through. I thought: “How can I tell these people: ‘Chin up. Look at the bright side. Things are going to be great?'”‘
Michael got his groove back while recuperating in bed and watching old TV shows such as game shows from his childhood in the 1970s.
Side by side: The actor has been married to his wife Tracy Pollan since 1988 and they have four children – Sam, 31, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, 25, and Esme, 19; seen in 2018
‘Optimism is really rooted in gratitude. Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance,’ he mused.
‘Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn’t mean that you can’t endeavor to change. It doesn’t mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on,’ said Michael.
He has a ’60-year-old man’s optimism’ and ‘It’s not that I wasn’t sincere before, but my gratitude is deeper now, from having gotten through the darkest times.’
Peace: The Back To The Future star, who is plugging his upcoming memoir No Time Like The Future, has landed the new cover of People and told the magazine about his crises; seen in April 2018
The new tome: His book cover for No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality
At the present time ‘My life now is quiet, and I’m actually having a really good time. People don’t believe me, but I love life. I love being with my family.’
The heartthrob has been married to his wife Tracy Pollan since 1988 and they have four children – Sam, 31, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, 25, and Esme, 19.
‘I love being with Tracy. I love that I don’t do a lot of useless stuff that I used to do, because I don’t have the energy or the time,’ he told People.
‘I’m grateful that I went through a crucible there in my late 50s. I figured some of this crap out finally, and it didn’t haunt me into my 70s and 80s.’
No Time Like The Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality will come out November 17 as the latest in his string of memoirs.
Lucky Man: A Memoir bowed in 2002 and then came Always Looking Up: The Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Future: Twists And Turns And Lessons Learned in 2010.
The title of the latest book is a take-off on the 1960s Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum with a score by Stephen Sondheim and dialogue by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.