Danny Dyer has revealed he took himself to rehab in order to save his marriage and his life after hitting rock bottom.
The EastEnders star took a hiatus from playing Mick Carter in the BBC soap in 2017 and has now confessed he was addicted to anti-anxiety drug Diazepam and had lost sight of what was important to him.
“They was like, ‘Oh, okay. Uh, right’. And so I sorted it myself and I paid for it myself.”
He added: “I didn’t want fresh linen. I didn’t want a Priory-type gaff. I’m not knocking the Priory. I understand it. I needed to be down on a floor, scrubbing khazis and just broken down completely, because what I’ve recognised is ego."
The 45-year-old actor - who recently announced he is leaving EastEnders in January 2023 after 10 years on the soap - met childhood sweetheart Joanne Mas growing up on the same estate in East London.
They had daughter Dani, 26, when they were teenagers, and later went on to welcome daughter Sunnie, 15, and son Arty, eight.
But Dyer admitted he struggled with fame and he "wasn’t very present" in family life.
He said: "I became a sort of a cartoon character. I created it, don’t get me wrong. I got wrapped up in that and I sort of lost who I was, really.
“I was doing s**t loads of f***ing drugs. I was searching for something. There was a hole in me and I couldn’t work out what the f*** it was.”
He married Joanne in September 2016 after she proposed to him on Valentine’s Day 2015.
But just a few months after their wedding Dyer reveals they had split and he moved out of the family home to live in a flat nearby.
He said he told himself: “Okay, this is it, you’re gonna lose all this. You’re gonna be a shadow of the man that you are, you are gonna f*** everything up. You’re gonna have no relationship with your kids.
"This was my moment where I went, ‘Right’. I was just trying to f***ing drag me a**e over the line."
Dyer revealed he has discovered meditative deep breathing which he can now do for up to an hour-and-a-half and it has helped him "quiet the f*** down".
Dyer's breakthrough acting role was in British indie coming-of-age movie Human Traffic in 1999.
He went on to gain a 'hardman' image starring in films such as The Football Factory and The Business as well as hosting Sky TV documentary series Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men.
Dyer joined the cast of EastEnders in 2013 as Queen Vic landord Mick Carter, alongside Kellie Bright as his wife Linda. The Carter family have become a staple clan of the BBC soap, which has suffered flagging ratings in the past year.
Watch: Danny Dyer helps launch alcohol-free beer for mental health research