“Desperate Housewives” alum Shawn Pyfrom, in the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death, has admitted that he is an addict and has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.
Hoffman, the 46-year-old “Hunger Games” and “Capote” actor, who was found dead in his New York apartment Sunday after an apparent drug overdose, influenced the younger actor, who is best known for playing actress Marcia Cross’ mischievous son Andrew Van De Kamp on the ABC drama.
Seemingly moved to speak out after Hoffman’s death, Pyfrom took to Tumblr to write a lengthy open letter to others who may be struggling the same way he did because he “could not hear of another person being robbed of their life, due to addiction.”
“i just read the news about mr. philip seymour hoffman, and against the advise of others; i had to write this open letter. i can’t stay quiet anymore about this,” the 27-year-old wrote on his Tumblr. “i am an alcoholic and a drug addict.”
The actor did not indicate what drugs he had abused but added that on Sunday he “celebrated five months of sobriety.”
Pyfrom has kept a relatively low profile since the conclusion of “Desperate Housewives” in 2012. He has since only made a guest appearance on “Rizzoli & Isles” and worked on a TV movie called “Killing Lincoln,” according to his IMDb page.
“i’m relatively new to being sober, considering the scope of time that i’ve been an addict,” Pyfrom wrote. “but within that scope, this is also the longest i’ve been sober; since i began using. i’m not sure what to approach first, with regard to this letter — my head is still spinning from the news. i even question whether or not i should publish this, as i type out these words. but if these words can encourage someone to hold on to their life… to keep from ever using, or to find the strength to stop; then it’s more important that these words are shared. i’ve considered what’s at stake, for myself, by sharing this -- but i find myself without regard for that. i won’t allow my selfish needs to get in the way of potentially reaching another human being’s life.”
Pyfrom reflected briefly on the deaths of musicians Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain and discussed the effect drugs had on their work, and on his own since he recently put on his first art show. Then he moved on to the meaning of a public figure’s passing from “such a terrible affliction” and the “feeling of great loss” people collectively feel.
“i feel grief when i hear of such a talented human being leaving this earth… but every life is important. there are just some that hold the public forum. the loss of their life is no more, or no less, of a loss than anyone else’s...”
The young actor also that he didn’t want to stay quiet because he knew that if he shared his story he could potentially save a life. But if he didn’t share it, he would “no longer be able to look myself in the mirror with the same pride i’ve allowed myself to have, for overcoming the thing that almost took my life.”
He urged occasional users of drugs and alcohol and those who use every day to understand that the act is “a moment stolen from your life.”
Pyfrom said he hoped his letter would be a form of “encouragement” to anyone who reads it.
“i hope it provides you strength, in the way that i’ve intended it. whether you are currently battling an addiction, or have never even sipped a drink. i hope it gives you strength to consider the potential it has to take everything, that is dear, from you,” he wrote.
His message was positively received by his followers, with the actor later taking to Instagram to share his thoughts on people’s reactions.
“thank you to everyone who sent their love and support today, after i posted my open letter,” he wrote. " i am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. but i didn’t write this letter just for me. i wanted for anyone out there, who may be struggling like i was, to know that there is strength in admitting your weaknesses.”
“you are brave & strong,” tweeted “Pretty Little Liars” actress Lucy Hale. “I admire your honesty, my friend.”
“Brave boy,” wrote “Revenge” actress Ashley Madekwe.
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