Drew Barrymore Says Giving Up Alcohol Took Away 'Guilt And Dysfunction'

Anyone who has ever had a manicure knows that the setting can be likened to a confessional, or perhaps a dinner date with a close friend or significant other. Something about two human beings sitting across a table from one another, holding each other's hands, is naturally conducive to emotional intimacy. Machine Gun Kelly experienced that last year when he was on "The Drew Barrymore Show" (via CBS News). "I kinda am sick of smiling all day when I don't feel like smiling," MGK said while painting Barrymore's nails a minty green color from his new unisex nail polish line. "A lot of what I do is for other people, and I haven't given myself the space and the time to say that it's okay to not be okay." Barrymore responded with trademark humor ("I don't mean to sound creepy but I like you so much more!") and then dropped a less-than-trademark personal revelation.

"I went through a really painful divorce," Barrymore told MGK, "and I wasn't doing very well." The actress and talk show host goes on to explain that the depression she experienced after separating from then-husband Will Kopelman in 2016 (per Vanity Fair) led her to a treatment facility in Utah. Barrymore later explained to the "CBS Mornings" team that she is "not a rug-sweeper" and when MGK told her that he wasn't okay, she wanted to create the space to talk about that. Then, she shared something of her own.

Sobriety ahead of the holidays

As the talk show host and hesitant cookbook author explained it to "CBS Mornings" last year, Drew Barrymore believes that it is more important than ever that people drop the facade of perfectionism. While she admitted that she has always been private about personal struggles, she was ready to reveal something that she had never publicly shared before: "I have not had a drink of alcohol in two and a half years," Barrymore confided. And, of the privacy surrounding her sobriety: "It was this quiet, confident journey."

In a "Take Care of Yourself" essay from the December issue of Barrymore's magazine, Drew, the actress expands on her journey. Giving up alcohol entirely has led her to "finally become free of the torture of guilt and dysfunction" (via Entertainment Weekly). For her, sobriety is a way to "slay those dragons" and take care of herself — a value that she deems especially important during the upcoming holidays, and for the future possibility of finding love again. Because alcohol is a depressive and a sedative, according to Healthline, drinking large amounts over time may worsen anxiety, not decrease it. In her essay, Barrymore recommends taking a breath and giving yourself a hug this holiday season because after all, "We're all just doing our best out here."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).