The legendary British singer has been open about his struggles with addiction throughout his career, and the subject came back into the public consciousness with the release of biopic Rocketman, which was based on his rise to fame.
Now, in an post on social media, he’s marked the 29th anniversary since he went clean in 1990, sharing an emotional message alongside a photo of his Alcoholics Anonymous sobriety badge.
“29 years ago today, I was a broken man,” he wrote on Twitter. “I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: ‘I need help.’
“Thank-you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety. I am eternally grateful.”
Earlier this year, Elton opened up to Variety about the addiction to drugs, sex and shopping he experienced during the early years of his career, as well as bulimia and anger management issues.
“The life I was leading, flying on the Starship [private plane], living in beautiful houses, buying things left, right and centre – it was not a normal life, not the sort of life I came from anyway,” he said.
“I lost complete touch with that. I vowed when I did change my life that that would never happen again.
“There were times I was having chest pains or staying up for three days at a time. I used to have spasms and be found on the floor and they’d put me back to bed and half an hour later I’d be doing the same. It’s crazy.”
He added: “I am a survivor. I’ve survived a lot of things. Life is full of pitfalls, even when you’re sober. I can deal with them now because I don’t have to run away and hide.”