AceShowbiz - Lena Dunham was "thrust" into sobriety after realizing she had become too reliant on anti-anxiety drugs to avoid "disappointing people."
The "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" star is celebrating three years sober after kicking her prescription pill habit in 2018, and the actress reveals she initially didn't see anything wrong with taking the drugs to help her relax while socializing.
"I just remember being so terrified of the idea of disappointing people that really for me, at first, I was like, 'If I can take these drugs and they make me more like myself, isn't that a better thing?' " Dunham told Drew Barrymore on her U.S. talk show.
"And then suddenly I realized I was becoming less and less like myself and suddenly it was like sobriety wasn't a choice for me. I was thrust into it because I realized there was no other way that I was going to get back to the life that I loved..."
Dunham is thankful she recognized her struggle when she did, because it's the best decision she's ever made.
"I love to think it was this very Zen choice, like, 'You know what? I think I'm just gonna have a dry January,' and then it turned into a dry every day, but no, it was like, 'Girl, you've got to get it together!' " she confessed.
"But it turned out to be the greatest thing I ever did... I feel blessed... The greatest friends of my life have come out of sobriety."
Dunham marked the sobriety milestone on Saturday, April 10 with a reflective post on Instagram, as she thanked fans for their support and urged anyone facing similar struggles to seek help.
Overcoming her pill addiction is just one of the many health issues the actress and director has been candid about with her social media followers, having previously opened up about her endometriosis surgeries, including her hysterectomy at the age of 31, her diagnosis for connective tissue condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and her battle with a form of autoimmune arthritis.
Dunham explained to Barrymore she wanted to lay bare her personal traumas to combat the idea that any kind of sickness is "weakness."
"Something from the beginning of my health struggle was the idea that I was not going to keep a secret because we are in a culture that sees illness as weakness," she shared of her decision to go public.
"We are in a culture that sees sick women as hysterical women and we are in a business that doesn't look kindly at illness because people are working at such a pace with so much money involved, that for people to be in any way unable to show up or potentially a liability and so I wanted to bring it out into the open."
Her health struggles don't appear to have harmed Dunham's career - she recently completed a secret shoot in Los Angeles for "Sharp Stick", her first feature-length production in more than a decade, while she is currently in London preparing to direct a movie adaptation of the novel "Catherine, Called Birdy".