Drew Barrymore had a blast from the past while in the middle of taping her talk show.
On Thursday 19 October’s episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, an audience member reminded her that they had met four years ago while she was working as a flight attendant. The woman showed Barrymore a photo the two of them took together as proof.
“When I met you, you were crying in my galley,” the flight attendant told the actor. “That was four years ago and here I am crying on your show now.”
Barrymore began to tear up as the woman continued: “And we sat in my galley, and you cried, and cried, ‘cause you were going through so much, and here I am at your show now.”
When the talk show host asked the woman if she remembered what she was going through during that time, the flight attendant replied: “Yes, I do. I do. You were just bawling and I was just holding you.” Barrymore then walked up to where the woman was sitting in the audience and hugged her.
“That was a really hard year,” Barrymore said, as she stayed seated next to the woman. “That was the year I stopped drinking. You know, when you stop drinking, it’s not like all your problems go away. There’s a ton of work to be done. It’s a way to honour yourself and be consistent, and let the room in for other things.”
The Charlie’s Angels star began to open up to the audience about her sobriety journey, which she has discussed in the past. She explained that alcohol was “poison” to her and drinking was her “number one” problem. Barrymore said she would use alcohol as a coping mechanism for whenever she wanted to avoid her feelings.
“I turned to it because I didn’t want to feel,” she said. “I felt better when I drank, so I would turn to it.”
Barrymore took the opportunity to express her gratitude to the flight attendant for being there for her. “There’s a reason we met that day,” she told her. “Thank you for letting me be so honest and transparent with you then and thank you for being that with me now. I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere unless we’re honest with ourselves.”
“I love you and I’m so glad that we’re here today talking about this,” the talk show host concluded.
Over the years, Barrymore has been open about her struggles with substance abuse and her time in rehab as a teenager. In a March interview with the Los Angeles Times, she explained that she turned to alcohol in the middle of her 2016 divorce with ex-husband Will Kopelman. The interview also revealed that her problem had gotten bad enough where her therapist quit on her.
The Ever After star explained that interventions from friends and her own talk show are what helped her realise not only that she had a problem, but that she also wanted to fix it. “I think the opportunity at a show like this really hit me. I was like, ‘I can’t handle this unless I’m in a really clear place,’” she told the outlet.
Last November, Barrymore shared in an essay that giving up alcohol has been “one of the most liberating things in [her] life”. She also reflected on how important it’s been for her to prioritise herself, even when it has felt “selfish” to do so.
“Maybe our definition of love changes throughout our lives, but I truly believe so much love goes outward,” she wrote. “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.”
In March this year, she revealed that she hasn’t drunk alcohol in four years.