Sir Elton John had to learn to "become a human being again" when he got sober.
The 72-year-old singer admitted it took "a lot of work" to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol and is thankful he took so much of the "great" advice he was offered after his own ways of coping proved unsuccessful.
He said: "It took a lot of work. I had to learn to walk again. I had to learn to be a human being again.
"I went to about 1,200 meetings in three years. I had to listen and I had to shut up too.
"I had to take people's advice, even though sometimes I didn't want to - but my way never worked so I listened and I got so much great help."
It took getting sober for Elton to find lasting love with his husband David Furnish and he "couldn't be happier" with his spouse and their sons Zachary, eight, and six-year-old Elijah.
He told Britain's OK! magazine: "When I got sober, I never thought I'd be able to live in a long-lasting relationship.
"Before then I couldn't last long in any relationship because drugs would always come into it.
"You can't have a relationship where drugs and alcohol are involved. It's impossible.
"But as soon as I stopped, I found myself with David and we've now been together for 25 years. I have an eight year old and a six year old and I couldn't be happier."
The 'Your Song' hitmaker admitted he almost threw away the "wonderful" life he leads now thanks to the self-destructive path he was on.
He said: "I'd never have guessed in a million years that something like this would ever happen to me - but it's all part of being willing to change.
"You have to be willing to change and you have to be willing to listen to people and you have to do what you are told.
"If you can do that, then your life will get better.
"And it really did. Life is really wonderful right now, but I very nearly threw it all away."