Before Ben Affleck went to the rehab clinic for the third time on Wednesday evening, he was "working incredibly hard last year" to stay sober, a source close to Affleck tells PEOPLE.
"Addiction is not something that goes away: every day there is a battle to repair addicts, they fight for their sobriety and they lead a healthy and balanced life every day," says the source.
Affleck was often seen visiting outpatient treatment centers in L.A. "Ben has worked incredibly hard over the past year to follow a streamlined program designed for him and his journey," says the source. "He has attended numerous meetings, has continued to work with sober coaches and is doing his best to continue with the things that help him maintain his health."
According to the source, Affleck, 46, was aware that he needed help and had done the right thing to make contact.
"One of the most important elements in managing your addiction is knowing when to look for help, what he did, and it is an important step in the right direction," says the source.
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"A crucial aspect of Ben's recovery is that he can seek help when he feels he has no control – when his ongoing treatment and conversations with down-to-earth coaches are not sufficient," insider adds. "The best scenario is that he seeks help, which he has done voluntarily, and for that we are all very grateful and hopeful."
Affleck wrote on Facebook in 2017 after a previous stay in the rehab clinic: "I want my children to know that it is no shame to get help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone who needs help need to take the first step. "
His new return to a treatment facility came after his ex-Garner was photographed on Wednesday and arrived at his house and looked angry. She returned later and drove Affleck to a Malibu rehabilitation center.
The actor spent time in the detox clinic in 2001 and 2017. "He knew he needed help and talked about it," a source told PEOPLE.
Warning signs that Affleck had a hard time, quickly fell on the last days. But only a week ago he stepped out happy and healthy on his 46th birthday on August 15th. The actor took his children Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9 and Samuel, 6, out for dinner and the group smiled all they left the family outing.
Just before his birthday, a friend of the actor PEOPLE said that "Ben is doing well, he is mentally in a good place and has worked very hard to get there."
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"He continues to focus on himself and the health of his relationships," the friend added. "He attends meetings, many meetings, and he also does meditation and yoga."
"While he still has his moments – and let's face it, everyone struggles – he continues to work hard on himself."
After his birthday, Affleck was photographed on a date with the 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton. Shortly afterwards news broke that Affleck had recently distributed Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, 38, after more than a year after dating.
Affleck and Sexton then spent some time in his place on Sunday before he made a Jack in the Box ride – later that day.
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"They were hanging around in his house and also drove around on the west side", a source told PEOPLE. "They seemed to be fine with each other, they were chatting and laughing, and Ben looked happy."
Later the source said that they "ordered a late dinner in his house and apparently liked to get to know each other."
After Sexton spent the night in his home, the actor was photographed with the appearance of a delivery of alcoholic beverages the next day with what appeared to be a Johnnie Walker Blue Label scotch whiskey in a blue box and some other non-identifiable bottles.
Two days after the alcohol issue Garner was seen at Affleck's house and later drove him to the rehab clinic.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the Help route for abuse of SAM substances at 1-800-662-HELP.