In a message to parents on his website, beloved children’s author Robert Munsch says he’s been diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive and manic-depressive, adding that those challenges have led him to make some “big mistakes.”
In an interview with Global Television that aired over the weekend, Munsch admitted he’s a recovering cocaine addict and alcoholic, saying he has been clean for about four months.
In the note to parents, Munsch, 64, said his mental health and addiction problems are no secret to his friends and family, and that he’s been going to 12-step recovery meetings for more than 25 years.
“They have been a big support to me over the years, and I would not have been able to do this without their love and understanding,” he said of his family.
He goes on to say that he hopes that others will also understand and that “everyone will talk to their kids honestly, listen to them, and help them do their best with their own challenges.”
In August 2008, Munsch suffered a stroke that briefly affected his ability to speak in normal sentences, a big challenge for a man who was used to doing about 50 storytelling gigs a year.
In an interview with The Canadian Press four months after the stroke, Munsch said he was unable to create new stories.
“I try to do poetry and make up stories and it doesn’t work, and (the doctors) told me that I should probably wait for a year for that to come back,” he said at the time.
Munsch also said that he planned to edit the whopping 51 book drafts he had on the go before his stroke.
Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., Munsch studied to be a Jesuit priest before he decided to work in preschools, where he got his start as a storyteller.
He moved to Canada in 1975 and four years later wrote his first book titled “Mud Puddle”. He’s since written more than 50 books, including some best-known titles like “Love You Forever” and “The Paper Bag Princess.”
His latest books are “Down the Drain” and “Roar” published in 2009.
He has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
Munsch was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999 and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame last September.