How a terrifying night helped Demi Moore make a decision to heal and grow

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Actress Demi Moore talks to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer about marriage, her career and more. (ABC News)

Demi Moore has taken the reigns of her life and now enjoys relaxing in her Hollywood Hills home with her dogs, close friends and family, but the iconic actress said it took finally figuring out her strength to get to this place in her life.

Moore has been busy in London filming a new TV series based on the book “Brave New World” and said she has loved this new decade onscreen.

“I used to question — ‘Why me?'” she said. “Maybe I’m not the most talented or the most intelligent or the most beautiful, but it doesn’t matter.”

PHOTO: Rumer Willis, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Scout Willis, Emma Heming Willis and Tallulah Willis attend Demi Moores Inside Out Book Party, Sept. 23, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Rumer Willis, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Scout Willis, Emma Heming Willis and Tallulah Willis attend Demi Moore’s ‘Inside Out’ Book Party, Sept. 23, 2019, in Los Angeles.more +

While Moore was sitting down for an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer, her phone buzzed with a thread of messages from her three daughters with ex-husband Bruce Willis — Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.

“This is the lineage of females, the houses of Moore and Willis,” she explained, laughing about their group chat. “That is what our thread is called.”

Today, the family shares loving messages on texts and social media. But seven years earlier, Moore hit a terrifying turning point.

The actress, whose marriages were over, lost herself along with her 20 years of sobriety and had a seizure at a birthday party after she used drugs, including synthetic pot and nitrous oxide.

As the ambulance was on its way, Moore said, “Everyone else was witnessing my body flailing.”

“My daughter [was] terrified that she was gonna see me die right in front of her,” she recalled. “And within me, I was in a place that was thinking, ‘Wow, how did I get in here? Isn’t this interesting?'”

“And then my very next thought was, ‘Oh, I wonder if I can get out,’ and all of a sudden, I was back in my body,” Moore said. “I think it was a moment that I — was somehow being given a choice.”

PHOTO: Actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore attend a movie premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., Dec. 9, 1992.
Actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore attend a movie premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., Dec. 9, 1992.

Moore said “certainly emotionally” it felt like it was a very close call.

“I think something had to give,” she explained. “When you come up to those places, you either go in or you go out.”

Moore explained that the purpose of her new memoir, “Inside Out,” is to help other people who are struggling.

PHOTO: Actress Demi Moore attends the signing of her memoir Inside Out at Barnes & Noble Union Square on Sept. 24, 2019 in New York City.
Actress Demi Moore attends the signing of her memoir “Inside Out” at Barnes & Noble Union Square on Sept. 24, 2019 in New York City.more +

She said, [I’m] “sharing of myself in a way” so that hopefully it “can elevate or open someone else to loving themselves a little bit better.”

Her book is also a promise of what can happen if you just reach out for help, like how Moore sought treatment and began to see her real strength in a different way.

Moore explained that a mentor she worked with asked her if she was ready for “someone my own size” rather than “my own age.”

“So, I thought that was kind of an interesting perspective,” she shared. “I think ‘own size’ would mean someone who’s experienced life, who’s gone through things in a way that are parallel.”

The healthier Moore became, the more her family moved closer to her, including Willis and her children, who she says had stopped speaking to her because they worried about her strange behavior and health.

The family members came back one by one, with her daughter Rumer Willis first, as she proved she was turning her life around.

“My hope is that in understanding me, that they would better understand themselves and love themselves,” she explained.

Moore built a bridge to reconnect with her unstable, alcoholic mother who had been diagnosed as bipolar and became ill with cancer. She helped care for her and tried to find a healing resolution with her own past before it was too late.

“I had to stop and recognize that I had pushed my mother away,” she said. “I understand why I did, for the protection of my family. But in a way, out of that self-preservation, I just disconnected — I decided who she was. And when you decide who someone is, you take away the opportunity for them to be anything else.”

She continued, “But if I can’t have compassion in my heart for her, how can I expect my children to hold that for me?”

Moore was with her mom when she died and wrote about the ups and downs in her book.

Moore wrote, “I’ve had extraordinary luck in this life: both bad and good … but we all suffer, and we all triumph, and we all get to choose how we hold both.”

“I don’t feel a victim to my life,” Moore told Sawyer candidly. “If I had had it easier, would I have had the courage, the strength to pursue the career I have? Would I have had the guts to go and step into something I had not a clue of?”

Moore’s new book is out now and takes a candid look at past relationships, struggles from her childhood, how she overcame addiction, her ascent to fame and commitment to healing amid life’s pitfalls.

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