Soap star Tyler Christopher’s life appears to be on an upswing right now, but he’s still willing to face his demons.
Although the former General Hospital (GH) and Days Of Our Lives (DOOL) actor routinely posts uplifting images of family and healthy living, he stared down some difficult memories as a guest on Maurice Benard’s State of Mind.
“It’s been an interesting two years of my life,” he revealed to his co-star, and that’s putting it mildly. As he recovers from alcohol addiction, which climaxed with his 2019 arrest for public intoxication, Christopher has opened up about his fractured family life and just how bad his addiction became.
“I’m quickly learning, realizing, how I could really mess this up,” Christopher revealed about his relationship with his children, who he sees twice per month. “We visit for half a day on a Saturday, half a day on a Sunday. I get on a plane and I come back here.”
“What if I didn’t go at all? Would people blame me? I don’t know. But every month I take three days out of my time, and that’s what I go do. Because that’s all I have.”
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As Benard urged his “bipolar buddy” to revisit his childhood, it became clear that Christopher’s addiction began innocently enough.
“I had my first drink at 9 years old,” Christopher acknowledged. “Somebody at school said that if you go into your cupboard, there’s these little things, they’re called extracts. Vanilla, orange, lemon…”
“Some idiot at school said, ‘There’s alcohol in there. If you drink it, you’ll get funny, silly,’” Christopher remembered. “So what’s the first thing I do? When I get home from school, I go in the cabinet, and my mom had vanilla extract, like from left to right, and I took every one.”
“And that’s how it started,” Christopher said, “and it never stopped.”
Over the years, Christopher became a functional addict. But even during the height of his success as a daytime star, he knew he was playing with fire.
“At some point, you cannot survive it,” Christopher explained. “At some point, it will kill you – and it has. Three times, I have flatlined. And nobody knows that.”
“I’m saying it here for the first time,” he continued. “Three times I have flatlined, and they brought me back. Twice from [alcohol] poisoning, once from withdrawal.”
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The consequences of his addiction eventually cost him his beloved role as Stefan DiMera on DOOL, a loss that Christopher still struggles to process. “It crushed me, because I took for granted the one thing I love the most.”
“It was devastating for a myriad of reasons,” Christopher continued. “One, the thing that I love the most was taken away. Two, I threw it away. Nobody took it away from me. I dropped it, OK?”
Abandoning his true passion eventually helped Christopher realize the power of his addiction, and the persuasiveness of his denial.
“Having to walk out the doors under those circumstances? That was like, ‘This is for real, dude,’” Christopher shared. “And I haven’t been back since. That ship has sailed.”
“Even after that, pride still creeps in,” Christopher noted. “It still comes in like, ‘You’re fine, you’re a good actor, people will forgive you, and you’ll move on.’ It doesn’t always work that way.”
Here’s hoping that Christopher can maintain his sobriety and make his way back to daytime television, where so many fans have missed his presence.
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