The term "stage fright" did not apply to Stephen Colbert as he began his career in comedy. The Late Show landlord had debilitating fears – except when he was on stage.
Colbert, 54, openly spoke in Rolling Stone about the fears and nervous breakdowns he experienced shortly thereafter, and married his wife, Evelyn McGee-Colbert, in 1995, and had their first child.
"I had a little nervous breakdown after my marriage – a kind of panic attack – my wife went to work and she came home – because I worked at night ̵
The comedian said that he was treated for his anxiety, but did not feel it was effective.
"I was actually being treated medically, I mean, in the most common, prosaic way, Xanax was just lovely, you know, for a while, and then I realized the gears were still smoking, I just could I could not hear them anymore, but I could feel them, I could feel the gear getting hot and smoke pouring out of me, but I did not go around a couch anymore, "he said.
At the time Colbert was 29 years old and was doing a show at the Second City Comedy Club in Chicago, which he had created with his best friend, who had moved to New York. Colbert said he felt a "strange panic" at the time, that he would never find something good again.
"I would go to the show and I would curl up behind the scenes in a ball on the couch and I'm waiting to hear my lines, then I would get up and go on stage and I would be fine What comes to my mind at the time is, "Oh, you feel good when you're out here." And then, as soon as I get off the stage, I'll fall back into a ball, nobody ever asked me what's going on! " He said laughing. "It took months."
RELATED VIDEO: Seven Times Selena Gomez Talked about Mental Health
Soon after, Colbert realized the performance calmed and made him happy and focused on
"I stopped the Xanax after nine days. I said, "That does not help." I just suffered it, I sometimes held the bottle to go like, "I could stop that feeling if I wanted, but I will not do it. Because I know if I stop feeling, somehow I do not work, as if I had to go through the tunnel with the spiders. "And then one morning, I woke up and my skin was not on fire, and it took me a while to figure out what it was."
"I wake up the next morning, I'm fine, until my body is still fine I'm a bell that rang so loud that I still feel vibrating, but the real sound was gone [because] I started the rehearsal that day to create a new show, "he continued , "And then I said," Oh my god, I can never stop doing something. "Creating something helped me just spin like an unweighted flywheel, and I have not stopped since, even as a writer, I've always had to stand a little in front of the camera, I have to perform."
Colbert said that Comedy saved his life.
"I'm so thankful, comedy was my savior as a kid, and still [is]," he said. "I went home last night, murdered a pint of ice and saw three episodes of Veep. Season Two, it was fantastic."