The 49-year-old actress was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, but told ET's Nischelle Turner that despite her decades-long career, this accolade was one she didn't see coming.
"[I] never [dreamed this could happen]," she shared. "I grew up next to a farm in Rhode Island. My big dream was to be a working actress and ultimately to do Broadway in New York City."
"I've fulfilled all of my dreams, and today... it's going to take me a long time to process this," she explained. "It's so, so beautiful."
Messing, who stunned in Oscar de la Renta, was joined by her Will & Grace co-stars at the event, but it was her longtime friend, Mariska Hargitay, who got teary-eyed while paying tribute to Messing.
"To me, pretty much 95 percent of friendship, possibly more, is just showing up, just being there -- and Debra Messing could hold a seminar on showing up," Hargitay told the crowd in attendance, holding back tears as she described Messing's support of her Joyful Heart Foundation. "I cannot tell you how deeply I admire your fierceness."
"What a bright, precious, important, beautiful, loyal, multifaceted, enduring light that you have been -- and you are -- in my life and lives of so many people. I think that's why we like stars so much. They're always there. They're faithful, they're true. They're forever," she said, prompting Messing (who could barely get through her own speech) to wipe away tears. "We love you. I'll speak for everyone."
Messing's star on the Walk of Fame comes one week after the premiere of the Will & Grace reboot, which Messing said has helped "heal" her through a tough year.
"I know that I need to laugh right now. The last year's been a difficult one, and I can tell you that every day, when I go to work, we laugh out loud -- belly laughing -- I feel healed, and I'm just so excited now that people are able to watch," she insisted. "We're finally on the air and people can watch it and enjoy it and we're hearing from all the fans that they're laughing."
"That's really our only goal, to make them happy," she added.