Stars have been paying tribute to actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman since news of his death Sunday.
For “Desperate Housewives” actor Shawn Pyfrom, the news inspired him to come forward with his own struggles with drugs and alcohol.
“i just read the news about mr. philip seymour hoffman,” Pyfrom wrote in an open letter posted on his Tumblr page Sunday. ” i can’t stay quiet anymore about this… i am an alcoholic and a drug addict. and yesterday i celebrated five months of sobriety.”
On the ABC drama, Pyfrom played Marcia Cross’ son Andrew Van de Kamp, who kills a neighbor’s mother after driving drunk and is later expelled from school for drug use.
But off screen, the 27-year-old actor said he struggled with drugs for “several years.”
“i lived for drugs. i lived for other things as well. but drugs dictated the other things i lived for. i thought more about using, than i thought about any other ‘pleasures,’” Pyfrom wrote.
Pyfrom chose to come forward he said, “because i could not hear of another person being robbed of their life, due to addiction; knowing that i stayed quiet about mine. knowing that if, by sharing my story, i could potentially save a life – and didn’t.”
While careful not to pass judgement on others, Pyfrom talked about how creativity and addiction seem to go hand-in-hand.
“some people could argue that drugs have provided some of the most memorable, creative artists this planet has ever experienced. jimi hendrix, kurt cobain…the list goes on. but drugs also took their lives away. it’s tough to say if their creativity would have flowered, in the same way, if it weren’t for the seed of their struggles,” he wrote.
“i would not have created the things that i have. i can argue that with all certainty, in fact,” he said. “but i would have much rather lived the moments that i lost.”
He added, “the creativity now flows out of me, easier than it ever had when i was using.”
Pyfrom said he has now reached the place where “i have no desire to ever use again,” while humbly and proudly admitting, “i am an addict.”
“i’ve never been more proud, saying it,” he wrote. “because when i think about where i’ve been, and where i am now… i am proud of the man who has addressed and admitted to himself, what was once a clouded denial.”
Pyfrom closed his open letter with words of encouragement to the reader who may be dealing with similar struggles with drugs and alcohol.
“i leave it to you to decide if it’s worth risking; finding yourself on the unfortunate end of things. just know that either way, i’m pulling for you. with only love,” he wrote. “i hope you can save your life.”