GH’s Maurice Benard and Tyler Christopher talk about the afterlife on SOM

This week was a special week for General Hospital’s Maurice Benard on his State Of Mind video podcast as he welcomed his dear friend and former GH co-star Tyler Christopher, someone he affectionately calls his BB ( Bipolar Brother), to sit in the chair across from him and peel back the layers of his fascinating journey from addiction to redemption.

Maurice Benard and Tyler Christopher: From Hell and Back

In the introduction to the last episode, Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) gave his friend the ultimate compliment.

“He’s not a good actor. He’s not really a good actor, he’s really a great actor. And I don’t know if he knows it or not, but there were only three actors in 58 years on General Hospital who have won Emmys and Tyler Christopher is one of them. He’s deep. He’s intense. He’s got skills and that’s just the talent,” he said. praise of Benard. “Above all, he is my friend. And the fact that he is sitting on this chair testifies to his determination, his will. Lots of people like it. »

Christopher, who originated the role of Nikolas Cassadine on General Hospital, playing it on and off from 1996 to 2016, appeared humble and open to anything discussed on the podcast.

“Take me where you want me to go,” he said. And they did. The two BBs touched on his childhood, alcohol addiction, traumatic brain injury, being fired from two daytime shows, homelessness and much more.

The Daytime Emmy Award-winning actor opened up about his first taste of alcohol when he was 9 years old. “Someone at school said if you go in your closet there are these little things called extracts: vanilla, orange, lemon. A friend, some idiot at school said, ‘There are alcohol in there’. If you drink it, you’ll become funny and silly.” Christopher described what happened next. “So what’s the first thing I do when I get home? at my office, and my mom had vanilla extract from left to right. I took everyone. Exactly what my friends told me would happen, happened. ‘Ooh, That feels good. That’s funny. That’s great.’ And that’s how it started. And it never stopped.”

The path of destruction

They referred to him as a functional alcoholic. He drank a gallon and a half a day. He mentioned vodka as his drink of choice. Christopher talked about when it started to erode his daily life and when he realized he needed help. His drinking led to him being fired from his roles in General Hospital and Stefan DiMera in Days of our Lives.

“It crushed me,” he admitted candidly. “It literally crushed me. I took advantage of the thing I loved the most. It was devastating for a myriad of reasons. First, the thing I loved the most was taken away from me. Two, I threw it. Nobody took it away from me. I dropped it. Having to walk through those doors, under those circumstances, it was like, ‘Wow, this is for real, man.’ You know, I haven’t been back there since. That ship has sailed. For now.”

The actor has physically and mentally reached his limit. “At some point, you can’t survive it. At some point it will kill you. And that’s the case. Three times I flatlined. Twice by poisoning. Once of withdrawal. He painted a grim picture of his near-death experiences. “A lot of people don’t know this, but alcohol is one of the things you can die of from withdrawal. Few people have experienced delirium tremors. DT. It’s horrible.

Christopher detailed his ordeal with a shocking revelation. “It killed me. It’s what caused my downfall [the traumatic brain injury]. I was going through tremors of delirium on my own. Completely alone. Which is deadly. You can not do that. You are sweating profusely but you are cold. A migraine. Aspirin does not remove it. Tremor. I can not sleep. Zero hours of sleep. I can not walk. I was vomiting. I wanted to avoid throwing up on myself in bed; I got to the bathroom somehow [before he fell].”

Tyler Christopher: The Road to Redemption

After brain surgery to relieve blood pressure on his brain, he found himself on the brink of death – repeatedly. He spent 30 days in intensive care, then in Neuro Rehab for three months when things started to improve. “My memories started to come back. My speech started to come back. I could walk without limping.

But his condition led to another obstacle. “Due to the seriousness of the injury, the doctors placed me under medical supervision. If I couldn’t find any, they would make me a ward of the state. Christopher added: “My wife wanted nothing to do with it. I respect that. Luckily, I had a sister who stepped in and said, “I don’t want him to be a ward of the state. I will take over as medical tutor.

Embrace mental and physical health

Tyler Christopher spoke candidly about seeking the right medical advice. Find a doctor to treat her brain injury, bipolar disorder, addiction and depression. Watching the episode, fans may find themselves thinking, “Man, he needs to write a book.” And he broached this subject during State Of Mind.

Learn more about the man Benard calls “a warrior and a survivor” as they navigate the emotions surrounding Christopher’s childhood, his dreams of being a professional athlete, the struggle with his height, the righting the wrongs of his upbringing to be a better father to his son, Greyson, and daughter, Boheme. Find out about his brief stint on the streets of Skid Row and how he’s doing now. For the whole episode, Click here.

Follow Tyler Christopher on Twitter and instagram. Follow Maurice Bénard on Twitter, instagramWhere State of mind.

If you suffer from alcohol addiction or know someone else who struggles with alcohol abuse. You’re not alone. Find out how to get help with NIAAA.

General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtime. For more on what’s going on in Port Charles, check out all the latest General Hospital spoiler posts, and for an in-depth look at the show’s story, click here.

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