"I’m like a pig with truffles with drugs, so within seconds I would find them."
Margaret Cho has said she was “suicidal” before entering rehab.
The All-American Girl star went to rehab in 2016 for a year and a half following drug problems. She is now embarking on a stand-up tour titled Fresh Off The Bloat, which draws upon her time rehab as well as other personal influences.
Speaking to the Scotsman, Cho discussed her life pre-rehab, revealing she was suicidal.
“I was drinking and suicidal and eating like a million pills,” Cho said. “I had this fancy handbag with a special compartment with every drug known to man in it and $7,000 so if I ran out I could buy more.”
“I’m like a pig with truffles with drugs, so within seconds I would find them. I’d go into parks in the middle of the night to buy them… crazy, I wasn’t sane at all.”
Cho says that Danny Boyle’s 1996 cult classic Trainspotting left an impression on her drug abuse. “I had a lot of fun, but when you get into it, it’s hard to get out. I remember watching Trainspotting in the ‘90s and I know it was a morbid tale, but it had a gleeful abandon about it that really made an impression on me.”
“I wanted to seek that abandon and would get to the edge and then pull myself back, but I lost the ability to hold myself back.”
She added that strength can’t always beat drugs and alcohol. “After a certain time the drugs and alcohol get the best of you, no matter how strong you think you are. And you can die.”
Concerned for Cho, her friends and family staged an intervention to send her down the road to recovery.
“So my family and friends were really concerned about my life and how I was living and staged an intervention where they told me I was going to a friend’s birthday party and when I got there all my friends were there, but it was not a party. Everybody was crying. They took me to a place where usually people stay there for 28 days, but I stayed waaaaaay longer because I liked it.
Cho adds that the rehab facility succeeded in setting her back on track and will use her experience as material in her work.
“I’ve spent the last year and a half in a rehab facility. I learned how to live, get the tools for life and now I feel I should talk about what happened because it’s really interesting, and it’s also funny.”
“I have a very destructive side, which I’ve always talked about in my work – whether it’s eating disorders or depression – because I think it’s really funny when people cannot handle life. I think more people should just retreat, say I can’t handle anything right now and go somewhere else.”
Cho recalls one anecdote from her time in rehab that makes her laugh. “There was one man who was so angry with the staff he took it out on them by s****ing all around the swimming pool. It was surrounded by turds, like a turd Checkpoint Charlie. And it was not in the staff’s pay grade to deal with it, so they put milk crates over them and it stayed like this for several days. Finally his estranged wife came and cleaned it and she was furious, because she wasn’t even with the guy any more!”