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What Elton John couldn’t do when he was an addict

/ 12:20 AM May 24, 2019

Elton John

In the first half of his career, Elton John had already achieved everything there is to achieve as a pop star—fame, acclaim, fortune and many more. But it’s these same things that lured him into a web of personal issues—addiction to drugs and sex, an eating disorder and anger management issues.

For a while, he lost touch of the world and of himself.

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“The life I was leading, flying on the Starship [a private plane], living in beautiful houses, buying things left, right and center—it was not a normal life, not the sort of life I came from, anyway,” recalled the music icon, whose life is the subject of “Rocketman,” a biopic that recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

“There were times I was having chest pains or staying up for three days at a time,” Elton said in a recent interview with Variety. “I used to have spasms and be found on the floor, and they would put me back to bed. Half an hour later, I would be doing the same. It’s crazy.”

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Luckily, he came to his senses soon enough and vowed to turn his life around. For starters, he learned how to seek help.

“What I couldn’t do when I was an addict was communicate—except when I was on cocaine; I thought I could, but I talked rubbish. I have a confrontation problem, which I don’t have any more because I learned that if you don’t communicate and you talk about things, then you’re never going to find a solution,” he said.

Now, reflecting on his roller-coaster of a life and career, Elton can say that he’s a “survivor.” “I have survived a lot of things,” he said. “Life is full of pitfalls, even when you’re sober. I can deal with them now because I don’t have to run away and hide.” —ALLAN POLICARPIO

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TAGS: Cannes Film Festival, Elton John, Rocketman
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