Michael J. Fox reveals his 'darkest moment’ since Parkinson’s diagnosis

November 5, 2020

Michael J. Fox has opened up about one of the lowest times in his life.

The 59-year-old, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998, has disclosed his “darkest moment” was due to an unrelated health setback.

In 2018, Fox had to undergo a risky surgery to remove a noncancerous tumor on his spine.

“I was heading for paralysis if I didn’t get it operated on,” the “Back to the Future” star told People.

While the procedure was successful, Fox had to learn how to walk again. During his recuperation, the actor was alone in his NYC apartment when he suffered a fall and broke his arm.

“That was definitely my darkest moment,” he recounted. “I just snapped. I was leaning against the wall in my kitchen, waiting for the ambulance to come, and I felt like,‘This is as low as it gets for me.’ It was when I questioned everything. Like, ‘I can’t put a shiny face on this. There’s no bright side to this, no upside. This is just all regret and pain.’”

The incident robbed Fox of his usual optimistic outlook.

“Parkinson’s, my back, my arm … it still didn’t add up to moving the needle on the misery index compared to what some people go through,” he added. “I thought, ‘How can I tell these people, “Chin up. Look at the bright side. Things are going to be great”?’ ”

While laid up in bed at home, the “Family Ties” alum found solace in watching ‘70s game shows and slowly saw the return of his normally upbeat disposition.

"Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance," he continued. "Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn't mean that you can't endeavor to change. It doesn't mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place."

Fox now says he has “a 60-year-old man’s optimism” and enjoys the quiet life with wife Tracy Pollan and their four children.

“I’m actually having a really good time,” he said. “People don’t believe me, but I love life. I love being with my family. I love being with Tracy. I love that I don’t do a lot of useless stuff that I used to do, because I don’t have the energy or the time. I’m grateful that I went through a crucible there in my late 50s. I figured some of this crap out finally, and it didn’t haunt me into my 70s and 80s.”

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