The star has been surprisngly frank about his struggle...
Busted star Matt Willis has shocked fans by revealing that his battle with drug and alcohol began at the tender age of seven.
Opening up in a candid interview with TV presenter Matt Johnson and life coach Ben Bidwell in their new mental health podcast series The Naked Professors, the 35-year-old admitted that he would ‘get high’ off his asthma inhaler as a child.
Revealing that his addiction was triggered by a difficulty with processing his feelings as a youngster, he said: ‘Everything that takes me away from feeling the way I feel is a problem for me because I cannot deal with how I feel, so I will do anything possible to take that away and change the way I feel.
‘I was mildly asthmatic as a kid and I used to hide under my duvet and take as many hits of my inhaler as I possibly could when I was about seven because it would make my head throb, make my lips tingle.’
Continuing the star revealed that this struggle has remained with him as he grew up.
‘I’d be getting high in my bed at seven years old so I have always had this in me to find ways to get away from dealing with who I am and how I feel. Quitting drinking was one of the hardest tasks in my life.’
He also went on to deny that Busted’s split in 2005 was responsible for a downward spiral of addiction.
‘I was in trouble before the band ended, I was a massive alcoholic.
‘I don’t think being in a band made me the way I am. I would have been the same if I worked in Tesco or a bank, I am an addict all the way through.’
The musician – who entered rehab for his alcoholism in 2005 and for cannibas in 2006 – describes himself as an ‘addict all the way through’ during the chat, explaining how cocaine had also blighted his life previously.
He added: ‘I did cocaine a few times every now and then when I was drinking to keep me sober. We’d call it a sharpener, so I’d be a bit p****d, do a couple of lines and go, ‘Oh I’ll be alright’.
‘I hated it, hated everything about cocaine, hated the way it made me feel, hated everything about it but I couldn’t stop doing it which is madness.
‘It is my illness. You have this hole and you try and shovel everything in it to fill it but the hole is never ending.’
Matt has been married to former model and TV presenter Emma Willis – with whom he shares children Isabella, 9, Ace, 7, and Trixie, 2, – since 2008.
He has often credited his wife for helping him make a turnaround in this life saying last year:
‘We went snowboarding in 2005 and I think that was the first time she was like: ‘F*****g hell, this guy is out of control!’
‘Then by March I was in rehab. She’s f*****g amazing and stuck with me the whole time. I don’t know why. Of course, it was testing. There were times when we thought we couldn’t carry on any more.
‘Unfortunately it was always down to me as it was always my s**t f*****g it up. I’m so thankful to her because she really helped me through that, and now life is great.’