Drew Barrymore is opening up about the dark days following her 2016 divorce from art advisor Will Kopelman. Speaking to PEOPLE for the magazine’s new cover story, the actress and talk show host calls the period following the couple’s split “cripplingly difficult.”
“There are times where you can look at someone you think is a strong person and see them so broken and go, ‘How the f— did they get there?'” says the mother of two. “And I was that person. I broke.”
Barrymore explains in the story that she attempted to deal with her pain by drinking.
“It was just trying to numb the pain and feel good — and alcohol totally did that for me,” says the actress. “The drinking thing for me was a constant, like, ‘You cannot change. You are weak and incapable of doing what’s best for you. You keep thinking you will master this thing, and it’s getting the better of you.'”
Growing up, Barrymore was treated for alcohol and drug addiction in the wake of her E.T.-era superstardom. The actress reveals in the article that this more recent period of distress hit her harder than her earlier turmoils.
“After the life I planned for my kids didn’t work out — I almost think that was harder than the stuff [I went through] as a kid,” she said, “It felt a lot more real because it wasn’t just me. It was about these kids that I cared so much about. And then I probably cared so much that I was only giving to them and not taking care of myself. It was a messy, painful, excruciating walk through the fire and come back to life kind of trajectory.”
Barrymore gave up drinking after spending time in therapy. The actress subsequently channeled her energy into developing The Drew Barrymore Show, which “gave me something to focus on and pour myself into.”
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