Michael J. Fox Opens up About ‘Darkest Moment’ During Decades-Long Parkinson’s Battle

by Kayla Zadel

Michael J. Fox has been battling Parkinson’s Disease for decades. Now Michael J. Fox is opening up about when he hit his all-time low.

In 1998, Michael J. Fox shared his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease with the public. The renowned actor is taking his time with this most recent announcement of a surgery he underwent. Two years ago, Fox received surgery to remove a noncancerous tumor that was putting pressure on his spinal cord.

It was a surgery that Fox chose to undergo in order to prevent paralysis. According to a recent interview the 59-year old did with People he said, “I was heading for paralysis if I didn’t get it operated on.” The tumor “was constricting the [spinal] cord, so they had to be very careful in removing it so they wouldn’t do further damage,” Michael J. Fox continues.

The operation was successful, but the road to recovery was still ahead of the “Family Ties” actor. He had to learn to walk again and just when he thought the worst was behind him, he fell shattered his arm.

“That was definitely my darkest moment,” he said, continuing with, “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 “Back to the Future” star says that he’s normally pretty optimistic and can bounce back from things like this. But this time was different for Fox.

Michael J. Fox Finds Re-Newed Optimism

After falling and breaking his arm, Michael J. Fox continued to think, “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 states in the interview. “I thought, ‘How can I tell these people, “Chin up. Look at the bright side. Things are going to be great”?”

In order to pass the time, Fox spent time recovering from his injury by watching game shows from the ’70s. It was then that Fox started to change his outlook on life.

“Optimism is really rooted in gratitude,” Michael J. Fox says. “Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance. 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. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on.”

The actor surrounds himself with his family. That includes wife Tracy Pollan and their four children, son Sam, 31, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, 25, and daughter Esmé, 19.