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Anthony Hopkins celebrates 45 years of sobriety with inspiring video

"I was heading for disaster, drinking myself to death," recalled the Oscar winner.
/ Source: TODAY

Anthony Hopkins is celebrating 45 years of sobriety — and encouraging others to join him.

The 82-year-old Oscar winner tweeted a video of himself Tuesday opening up about his struggle with alcoholism, and explaining that his life has been "amazing" since he quit drinking.

"It's been a tough year, full of grief and sadness for many, many, many people," Hopkins said at the beginning of the inspiring black-and-white video.

"But 45 years ago today, I had a wake-up call," he continued. "I was heading for disaster, drinking myself to death. I'm not preachy, but I got a message — a little thought that said, 'Do you want to live or die?' And I said, 'I want to live.' And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing."

The "Silence of the Lambs" star shared words of encouragement to others struggling with addiction, particularly younger people.

"I have my off days and sometimes little bits of doubt and all that," he shared. "But, all in all I say, hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday."

"You young people, don’t give up," he added. "Just keep in there. Just keep fighting. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. That’s sustained me through my life."

He concluded his heartfelt message by assuring fans that 2021 "is going to be the best year."

Sir Anthony Hopkins speaking at the LEAP Foundation
Anthony Hopkins at the LEAP Foundation's annual conference on July 25, 2018, in Los AngelesGreg Doherty / Getty Images

The Welsh actor previously opened up about his struggle with alcoholism as the guest speaker at a 2018 conference for the LEAP Foundation, which provides leadership development training to young adults.

Hopkins told a group of students at the UCLA Palisades Ballroom that he got involved with theater after spending his childhood as an "uptight loner" who was often bullied, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Before long, he found himself drinking. "Because that's what you do in theater, you drink," he explained. "But I was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover."

He recalled his life changing in December 1975, after a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting asked him, "Why don't you just trust in God?" Those words helped Hopkins decide to give up booze for good.

"I believe that we are capable of so much," Hopkins told the young people in the crowd. "From my own life, I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that."

"We can talk ourselves into death or we can talk ourselves into the best life we've ever lived," he added. "None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny."