JM de Guzman opens up on substance abuse, going to rehab twice
As JM de Guzman returns to show biz, he is publicly sharing his journey recovering from substance abuse.
On the TV show “Rated K,” De Guzman revealed why he took drugs in the first place.
“I was bullied before when I was really young. So wala akong (I didn’t have) self-esteem or confidence that time,” he shared. “Taking drugs gives me power.”
He first got into it at 18 and thought drugs to be something novel.
“Akala ko nakakatulong siya sa akin (I thought it would help me) as a person, as an actor at first,” the 29-year-old actor said.
However, addiction would take a hold of his entire life, from his personal health to his career. He admitted using different types of drug when some wouldn’t give him the high he needed, and ultimately this affected his way of thinking.
He described the drug experience as “manipulative.”
“It will lure you na sobrang ok dito sa pupuntahan mong ibibigay niya sa yong state…tapos kukunin niya sa ‘yo ang lahat (It will lure you to think that the state it will give you is attractive…then it will take everything from you).”
“And sa huli di mo rin siya masisisi dahil bagay lang siya so kukunin din niya yung self-respect mo, yung pagmamahal mo sa sarili mo (And in the end you can’t blame it because it’s just an object, so it will take away your self-respect, your self-love),” he said.
A rising star recognized for his acting prowess and charming looks, De Guzman was in demand with movie projects and headlined the TV show “Angelito: Ang Bagong Yugto” in 2012.
But beneath the surface, De Guzman was deeply troubled.
The actor said he suffered from paranoia, hallucinations, depression and anxiety. “‘Di na ako makagalaw ng walang drugs (I couldn’t move without drugs),” he said.
He was removed from the show due to problematic behavior and would eventually tell his grandfather that he needed to go to a rehabilitation center.
“Mentally, emotionally, physically, rock bottom na eh. ‘Di ko na maiangat ang sarili ko (I couldn’t pick myself up),” explained de Guzman.
After 11 months, he seemed to be back on track and scored a role in hit indie film “That Thing Called Tadhana.”
He admitted that he cheated his way through rehab, so he was soon back to his old ways. “Sabi nga sa (as they say in) rehab, if you don’t know what to do, you do what you know,” he mused.
He said he lacked being “sincere and genuine” on facing his issues in the first rehab stint, and lied just to get out.
In the end, guilt caught up with him and he felt miserable with himself. “Parang niloloko ko lang ang mga tao na naniniwala sa akin (I felt like I was fooling the people who believed in me),” he said.
In 2015, his character would be killed out of the show “All of Me” following his relapse.
“Nasayang ko ang (I wasted) blessings and opportunities,” he lamented, stating that the depression, anxiety and anger at himself was more intense this time around.
He entered a Talisay rehabilitation facility and also tried to rush out of it through pretending. Fortunately, the staff saw through his act and led him on the process of healing.
He also found peace and resolution with his family as they worked through issues. “Yung support system namin sa isa’t isa, mas matibay (Our support system was stronger).”
In October last year, he announced he was nearly two years sober. Indie projects and talent center Star Magic have since opened their doors to him.
De Guzman appeared humbled as he said of the opportunities, “I really don’t think I deserve it pero sobrang thankful ako na siguro may purpose pa ako (I’m so thankful that I think I might still have a purpose).” Niña V. Guno /ra
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