Drew Barrymore says sobriety has allowed her to ‘finally become free of the torture of guilt and dysfunction’

Actor has been sober for more than three years

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 21 November 2022 22:04 GMT
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Related: Drew Barrymore recalls being institutionalised as a child for drug abuse

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Drew Barrymore has spoken candidly about her sobriety, and how giving up alcohol allowed her to “finally become free of the torture of guilt and dysfunction”.

The 50 First Dates star, 47, opened up about her “brave” decision to focus on herself and quit drinking in a “Take Care of Yourself” essay published in her magazine, Drew.

In the essay, Barrymore, who revealed in December 2021 that she was two and a half years sober, wrote that giving up alcohol has been “one of the most liberating things in my journey of life,” according to Entertainment Tonight.

Barrymore then reflected on the decision, with the actor acknowledging how important it is to focus on and prioritise oneself, even when it feels “selfish” to do so.

“Maybe our definition of love changes throughout our lives, but I truly believe so much love goes outward. And it can feel selfish to turn that spotlight on ourselves. To make room for me? It just doesn’t track sometimes,” she wrote, before adding: “One of the bravest things you can do is slay those dragons and finally change an awful cycle in which you’ve found yourself stuck. For me, it was to stop drinking.”

According to the Charlie’s Angels star, who has been open about her history of substance, it is especially important to priortise self-care during the holidays, when “we spend so much energy trying to measure up to the picture-perfect standards set by the Norman Rockwells of the world”. Barrymore said it is because of these moments that she wanted to remind her fans, and herself, to take a moment and remember we’re all “doing our best”.

“I’d like for you to try to remember to give yourself a pass - a hug, as it were - and I will try, too,” she wrote. “Take a moment, take a breath, and give yourself a squeeze. We’re all just doing our best out here. And that in and of itself is something to celebrate.”

Barrymore’s reminder comes after she revealed that she gave up alcohol when she realised that it no longer served her or her “life”.

The actor shared the life update during an interview with CBS This Morning in December, where she explained that she had embarked on the “quiet, confident journey” privately, but had made it to a place where she was enjoying peace, where previously there had been “demons”.

During the interview, Barrymore, who published a memoir about her experiences with addiction as a teenager, also noted that the journey is ongoing, and that “we continue to confront things with each decade of our life that almost surpasses what we thought we had seen”.

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