Growing Pains Star Reveals He Began Drinking At 4 Years Old
Former child star and actor in Growing Pains, Jeremy Miller admits he had a difficult history involving alcohol.
Although the on-screen Seaver family looked like they had it all, some of the cast members were hiding secrets that have only been revealed in recent years.
Tracey Gold has been very open about her long battle with eating disorders, and now her on-screen brother is revealing his battle with alcohol.
Miller played Ben, and revealed he battled with alcoholism while he was filming the show.
"I began drinking at 4 years old," Miller said on Oprah: Where Are They Now?
"My grandparents used to throw a lot of parties, and I would run around after the parties and finish off all the empty beers."
He admitted that he got "hammered" for the first time at 12, which was a problem that persisted throughout his life.
"There was always something there, whether it's genetic component, mental, whatever you want to call it. There was something there. I never had that 'off' switch," Miller said of his alcoholism.
"I woke up and I could feel it in my body. I could feel that I had to have a drink," Miller, who works as a patient advocate at a clinic in California, added.
Although he was convinced the alcohol was helping him, his dependency also fuelled his suicidal thoughts.
"There were times that I was so filled with self-loathing and self-hatred, and then combine that with the alcohol and the lack of judgment that that provides...it's a very good thing I never owned a gun," he said. "Because I don't know what would have happened, and that's scary."
He revealed that he is on the mend after he reached rock bottom.
"[I woke] up after having been completely blacked out, not having a clue what I did, with my fiancée sitting on the end of the bed, yet again, pissed and [me] not knowing what she could say. She could have told me I got in the car and killed four people last night; I would have had no clue," Miller said. "That was my rock bottom."
He couldn't escape the interview without a question about Leonardo DiCaprio where he admitted he did feel a little competitive towards him.
"I have to admit it bothered me a little bit that the network felt necessary to bring him in rather than focusing on my character who had now grown up and could kind of take over for Mike as, you know, the rapscallion, whatever you wanted."
However, he added, "It was a little weird. But we got along great, we hung out."