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    Gerard Butler on Almost Dying, Rehab: "Maybe a Stronger Person Wouldn't Have Needed to Go"

    Butler, Men's Journal Men's Journal

    Gerard Butler may look solid as a rock (his chest certainly seems to be made of granite), but he's only human on the inside.

    "Maybe a stronger person wouldn't have needed to go," the Scottish actor says in the November issue of Men's Journal, talking about the three weeks he spent at the Betty Ford Center in February. 

    "When you hear the word rehab, you think, ‘He's a mess, he's f--ked up.' But I'm glad I did it. I've made a s--tload of wrong decisions in my life. But I know I've made some right ones as well."

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    To be clear, Butler emphasizes that he didn't go to rehab for alcohol abuse, a rumor that really "pissed [him] off." 

    "I haven't had a drink in 15 years," says the Bounty Hunter star, who admits to having an addictive personality. Rather, he checked into a pain-management program after being injured in a surfing accident while shooting Chasing Mavericks, which comes out Friday.

    Gerard was already the picture of health at Vanity Fair's Oscars party

    "I was actually taking a minimal amount [of pills] when I went in," Butler recalls. "It was more about becoming a mental warrior and not letting pain bother you. The [instructor] would say, ‘I don't want to hear about your f--king MRIs or your f--king X-rays...Let's learn how to say to the pain, 'F--k you.'"

    As for the accident, during which Butler was pushed underwater by a wave for almost a minute, he says he had "visceral" flashbacks and his mind ended up in a place where he "didn't want it to be."

    Stars pay tribute to the late Betty Ford

    "They really do rip you apart," Butler says of rehab, which he compares to "spring cleaning." "You get rid of a bunch of s--t, realize a bunch more s--t, and you make a plan."

    We're just hoping his plan involves more movies.

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