Tarek El Moussa Opens Up About His Divorce & a Scary Misstep on His Road to Recovery
“I’ve had a lot of different struggles in my life: financial struggles, personal struggles. Just a whole lot of struggles. I feel like I’m finally in a place like, I was so broken after everything I went through,” the Flip or Flop star, 36, recently told Dr. Drew Pinsky on the Dr. Drew podcast.
“Literally broken that I was devastated. I could barely walk I was so broken as a person after going through all the trauma and the divorce and all these different things,” said the father of two who finalized his divorce in January nearly five years after undergoing thyroid cancer and testicular cancer procedures in 2013.
Recalling the imbalance of hormones and the exhaustion from multiple treatments, the father of two described the emotional and physical pain he endured.
“It was just my hormones were off. I was tired and I thought it was from the thyroid medication but it wasn’t. Here’s the worst thing I ever did which is a 100 times worse than cancer,” El Moussa detailed.
“I thought it was from my testicular cancer so I went to this botox doctor and hormone clinic that my ex said to go check out. Next thing I know I’m shoving a needle on my a– and taking steroids, it was testosterone. It was awful,” he remembered. “I was on way too much testosterone, on top of that taking human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injections every day because I was told to.”
After officially separating from Christina in May 2016, El Moussa “got off everything” and was determined to turn his life around.
“The second I separated from my wife I said, ‘Okay it’s time to do some soul searching, figure out what’s wrong with me.’ The worst part before that was I hurt my back. It was the worst experience of my life,” he said.
Want to keep up on the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
“I got back surgery I went from 230 lbs. to 168 lbs. So I had the cancer and then I got the second cancer. And then four months after, I recovered from the second cancer, I hurt my back. I lost 60 lbs., I was on Vicodin every day, my hormones are off, I’m on pain meds and narcotics and I’m filming and working. It’s wild. It was a horrifying experience,” El Moussa said of his obstacles in the span of a “really rough three, four years.”
Adding, “I would find myself just sitting alone and just being depressed. It’s all because of all the s— that was being pumped into my body just turned me into someone that wasn’t me. In 20/20 hindsight I think, ‘How in the hell did I film a show, start a company, how did I do all these things?’ I was so spun out from all the s— they gave me.”
The HGTV star attributed his ability to overcome his “trauma” to the support he received from friends and family.
“After separating and losing my family, I said I’m gonna do every single thing I can to be the best person I can be. I can say standing here today I’m the best version of myself I ever thought I could be,” El Moussa said.
“I’ve been through so many things: the sickness, the divorce, the cancer, success, mental health, physical health. People have helped me and I remember how important it was for positive support. Just talking about it makes me feel so much better,” he advised.
“Honestly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been to date because I don’t feel the way I felt,” El Moussa concluded.
(This story has not been edited by N24 staff and is People.com auto-generated from a RSS feed.)
Published Date: Friday, March 30th, 2018 | 12:45 PM