ELTON JOHN: Opens up about his failed attempt to help George Michael
Elton John says he "tried to wrap my arms" around George Michael to convince his friend and fellow artist that he needed help for his substance problems.
Appearing on Britain's channel 4, the Rocket Man explained that his best intentions failed, because George wasn't ready to admit he had a problem.
Elton John tells Britain's channel 4 about his failed attempts to help George Michael:
"You can't help people who don't want to help themselves. I've learned that as an addict -- and I am 28 years clean and sober. When people told me when I was using that I was doing the wrong thing, I was so angry and I just told them to go away -- or actually, stronger language than that. So I understand George's... When I said a couple of things and he took a...did a whole page interview in Heat magazine and saying I should shut up. And I understood what his reaction is. Addiction is a horrible thing."
George wasn't ready to take the most important step. Elton knows what it's like to be in that situation.
Elton John talks to Britain's channel 4 on the addict's self-denial:
"There's nothing you can do till you actually say, 'OK, I need help.' It's very hard... took me 16 years to say that. I know I'm intelligent, and I have a problem. I can go for six months without it, but it always got worse when I started back on it. And in the end of the day, addition is very serious problem and it needs to be addressed by yourself and you need help from people -- whether it's Alcoholics Anonymous or going to rehab, just having the humility to say, 'I have a problem. I can't do this. Can somebody help?"
Eric Clapton, who volunteers his time as a drug and alcohol counselor, and who founded the Crossroads Center Antigua rehab facility 20 years ago, concurs.
Eric Clapton draws from his own addiction experience in rejecting good advice and shutting out those who offered it:
"I know when people used to say to me, 'I think you've got a problem.' My general thing was to never deal with that person again. I would make sure they never came around again. Or I would never -- I would cross the road. It's tricky to know whether or not to say that to someone. Most of the time, I work on the principle that I don't do anything unless some asks for me for their help and then, I'm in. But if that person isn't ready, there's no point in saying anything at all. Some people have to go all the way down before they can be helped and it really has to come from them."