Tuesday, May 12

Marshall Mathers Finally Tells All, In His Own Words!

That’s how long it’s been since Marshall Mathers III, 36, released a proper album. During his absence, rumors have swirled around Detroit’s favorite son: One of the best-selling and most beloved MCs of all-time was supposedly finished. An addict. Lost his gift. Not hot anymore.

And in those five years much has changed: Eminem’s best friend DeShaun “Proof” Holton was murdered in April 2006. Em married his high school sweetheart, Kim Scott, for the second time in 2006, but divorced her again three months later. In 2008, his mother, Debbie Nelson, released a tell-all, My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem: Setting the Record Straight On My Life As Eminem’s Mother (Phoenix).He released his autobiography, The Way I Am (Dutton, 2008), but, even then, wasn’t prepared to face his demons. Today he lives just outside of Detroit with his daughter, Hailie Jade, his niece Alaina, and other members of his extended family. On the eve of his return to the game and the release of his fifth album, Relapse (Aftermath/Interscope), Slim Shady is back—and finally ready to address the rumors once and for all.

I’ve come clean with some things to my family and to my friends, and I think it’s probably time for me to come clean with my fans, too. First of all, I’m gay…. Nah, just kidding.

It’s no secret I had a drug problem. I just don’t think my fans knew how bad it was. When I went to rehab in 2005 I went in for a sleep problem, or I guess a sleep problem is what I thought it was. But it was a drug problem and I wasn’t ready to admit it. I was taking Valium, Ambien, and Vicodin. And I was taking a lot. If I was to give you a number of Vicodin I would actually take in a day? Anywhere between 10 to 20. Valium, Ambien, the numbers got so high I don’t even know what I was taking. I barely made it through that Anger Management 3 tour [Summer  2005]. I got by on the skin of my teeth. I had a rehab doctor that was seeing me through to where I could just take enough to not get sick and be able to sleep at night. The whole idea was, Get me through the tour, through these last couple of weeks, and then I’ll check myself in. 

When I went into rehab everyone else was ready for me to go, but I wasn’t. Rehab was a really bad experience for me. Just being a celebrity and shit, I felt like a fish out of  water. It was like, I don’t have a problem. Everybody else has a problem. I’m a grown man, I should be able to do what I wanna do. That’s the things that addicts go through in their mind. I stayed in rehab for probably two weeks—then I checked myself out.

Needless to say, I relapsed. I started taking Vicodin the week after I got home, so I was probably clean for three weeks. Then I started back with the NyQuil. I had a problem with NyQuil even though it’s an over-the-counter thing, it’s a serious trigger for me. I’d try to knock myself out but sometimes if you drink too much it would have the reverse effect and keep you up. So I’m right back on the phone with the dopeman trying to get Valium or whatever I could to sleep.

The problem was bad already, but when the Proof thing happened, it got really bad. It’s not an excuse to use drugs, but man, if I ever had a reason…. It was an excuse for me to just say, Fuck it. I just went all out with it. It got worse and worse to the point where I was getting it from anywhere I could. I had friends—or so-called friends—that were using the same shit that I was. They’d give me shit and I’d stockpile it.

So one day, this was right before Christmas of 2007, I got ahold of some pills. Somebody gave me some pills that were blue and they were shaped like Vicodin. I went to him looking for anything with codeine in it—Tylenol 3s, 4s, but they gave me these blue pills. They told me, Take these, these are just like Vicodin, only they’re easier on your liver. I remember taking one in the car on the way home, and I was like, Whoa, this is fuckin’ great. I didn’t even ask what it was. I’m like, This makes you mellow and it’s easier on your liver? I got a new drug of choice.

Within a day or two I was back askin’ for more. This time I probably got 15 to 20 of ’em. I think that day I took half. Toward the evening, I remember not being able to get out of bed. I literally couldn’t move. People said that I was actin’ weird that day—actin’ real slow and shit.

I think I slept from 3 in the afternoon ’til 10 o’clock. That’s when I remember waking up and I couldn’t move. I was like, Fuck it, I’ll just lay here. I woke up the next day at noon. I literally slept all the way from 3, 4 in the afternoon ’til noon the next day.

So I get up and I’m like, Okay well, I’m straight…I’m gonna take more. I took half the first day, then I took another half the second day. And the last thing I remember is trying to use the bathroom. I remember standing up to take a piss and I just fell over backward. Smack my back on the trash can, break the trash can. And I get up again, and this time I fall over the other way, to the side. I remember that the bathroom floor was cold. And I remember trying to crawl over to a rug. I got to the rug, and that’s the last thing that I remember. There are some things I have to keep to myself when telling this part of the story for personal reasons.

I woke up in the hospital. The doctor told me those mysterious new pills were methadone, which is used to wean heroin addicts off dope. Had I known it was methadone, I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But as bad as I was back then, I can’t even say 100 percent for sure.

I wasn’t only depressed about Proof, I was depressed about my music in general. All I was taking was downers, strictly sedatives. My mood made my music depressing. And in turn, the depressing music made my mood depressed. My brain was thinking slow. My flow, my cadence, everything was just slow. Every record that I made was, Woe is me, and my life is so fucked and everything is wrong.... 

I overdosed, and I was in the hospital for a week detoxing. My doctor told me the amount of methadone I’d taken was equivalent to shooting up four bags of heroin. Even when they told me I almost died, it didn’t click. I was pretty much in a coma for two days. All I remember was just peacefully sleeping and waking up in the hospital like, What the fuck is going on? There’s tubes in me, there’s all kinds of shit in me.

When you’re told you almost died, in an addict’s brain, this particular addict was thinking, Well I didn’t die, so I’m okay. WHEW! I got lucky. Thank you, God. God, please just please get me through this and I’ll never use again. But lo and behold… 

The official word was I had pneumonia. Thing is, I really did have pneumonia; I had taken so many pills that my immune system wasn’t functioning right. They told me that if I’d gotten to the hospital two hours later, I would have died, because I fucked my kidneys and liver up so bad. My kidneys had almost completely shut down. They were ready to put me on dialysis.

Now I’m in the hospital over Christmas, so my girls have waited to open presents. They’re waiting for Dad to get back home. I didn’t wanna scare them any more than I already did and obviously I felt horrible about the situation. I detoxed for a week, which wasn’t enough. I was home for a day. The next day I ended up having a seizure from withdrawals.

I never had a seizure before. It almost felt like an out-of-body type of thing. I was sitting there eating a piece of chicken and I felt weak, almost too weak to pick up the piece of chicken. And the next thing I know I’m on the floor; the ambulance was there to get me. Anyway, I go back to the hospital, because they said I hadn’t detoxed safely. But this hospital wasn’t as private about my business. That’s when the rumors started floatin’ around about a possible overdose.

Read Em's story in its entirety in the June '09 issue of VIBE on newsstands nationwide.

Source: Vibe

Credit: Eva


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