“Things that have happened to me since ‘Thrones’ ended, and that were happening during ‘Thrones,’ were of a pretty traumatic nature, and they did include alcohol,” the actor said in the interview, which was released over the weekend. “I went through some pretty horrible stuff.”
“You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person, you feel like you are a shameful person, and you feel that there’s no way out, that’s just who you are,” Harington continued. “Getting sober is the process of going, ‘No, I can change.'” The 34-year-old shared valuable information that helped him transform his thinking and make significant life changes.
“One of my favorite things I learned recently is that the expression ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots’ is entirely false — that a leopard actually does change its spots,” Harington said.
“I just think that’s the most beautiful thing. It really helped,” he added. “That was something I kind of clung to, the idea that I could make this huge fundamental change in who I was and how I went about my life.”
Harington entered a rehab facility in Connecticut in 2019, around the time the final episode of “Game of Thrones” aired, to deal with “mainly alcohol.” At the time, a representative said he was “at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues.” The actor has now been sober for nearly three years.
“I will say about my addictions that I kept them very, very quiet, and I was incredibly secretive and incredibly locked up with them,” the actor told The Sunday Times. “So they came as quite a surprise to the people around me — which is quite often the case, I guess.”
During that time, he also dealt with suicidal ideation.
“I went through periods of real depression where I wanted to do all sorts of things,” Harington said, adding that he hopes sharing his experiences will “maybe help someone, somewhere.” “But I definitely don’t want to be seen as a martyr or special,” he said. The “Game of Thrones” alum has previously opened up about going to therapy for struggling with the pressure related to his popularity on the hit HBO show.
“It wasn’t a perfect time in my life,” the entertainer told Variety in 2019. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think many people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy and started talking to people.”
Head to The Sunday Times to read the rest of Harington’s interview. Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
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