Cameron Diaz on Drew Barrymore: you can’t comprehend how hard it was for her as a child

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Drew Barrymore’s daytime talk show turned around, rating wise. They made adjustments and Drew made some tweaks as a host that sound like it helped. As far as I can tell, that’s why she merited a huge profile in The Los Angeles Times. That and the fact that everyone is fascinated with Drew and her famously chaotically tragic family. But Drew is an absolutely open book. She tells everything, like how her alcoholic father was absent throughout her life or how her mother was ill-equipped to raise a child. Or about drinking at Studio 54 at nine years old and getting hooked on coke at 12, then being thrown in lock down rehab at 13. It’s always a lot with Drew. And when she moved to New York only to divorce Will Kopelman, her ‘a lot’ became alcohol. Her drinking was enough for her therapist to fire her and her friends to stage an intervention. Longtime friend Cameron Diaz was one of the friends that told Drew she was out of control but stood by her as she quit booze. Cameron, who has known Drew since she left rehab at 14, said that even with everything we do know, we still can’t understand how bad Drew had it as a kid.

On not being defined by her childhood: There’s a choice to be had in how you see your circumstances, and I refuse to be stifled as a human being because of what I lived through as a kid. Don’t f—ing cloak me in this dark s—. I don’t want to take on anyone else’s perception of what it should have been, because I don’t feel that way. I think that I’m incredibly rebellious because of it.

Drew can’t shake the PTSD of being forced into rehab as a teen: I will always have the ‘They’re coming, they’re coming’ mentality. It’s the one thing that, unfortunately, I can’t shake. I’m pretty sure that this will all go away at any moment, I will get locked up again, and I will lose my job.

Cameron Diaz on helping Drew getting sober: But I knew that if we all stuck with her and gave her the support she needed, she would find her way. I have absolute faith in her. You can’t even comprehend how hard it was to be her as a child, and then she shot out the other end with the ability to save herself.

Co-host Ross Mathews on Drew: You hear that a lot from our guests: What is happening? Sometimes I’ll be reading the teleprompter and she’ll just start petting my shoulder because she’s so tactile. If you say something that she loves, whether she knows you or not, she will storm through a room or TV studio and just embrace you. And if it wasn’t Drew Barrymore, you’d be like, ‘Excuse me, ma’am, do I know you?’

But because it’s her and it’s not put on, you just find yourself embracing her back. And I feel like that’s what’s happened with the viewers over the past three seasons. At first, it was like, ‘Wait, what?’ But now they’ve seen it’s the real deal, and they’ve embraced her back.

[From Los Angeles Times]

“There’s a choice to be had in how you see your circumstances,” I found this a powerful statement. There are parts of my life I rarely bring up because I choose not to be defined by them. Because Drew’s right, people do project their pity or whatever on you based on how they feel about those situations. But Drew gets to dictate how she’s drawn from her own experiences and how they shaped her, not the public.

That said, the article goes into much more detail about the ghosts that haunt Drew and the decisions she’s made as a result. She described sending her daughters, Olive and Frankie, to camp and having to call her therapist (who took her back when she stopped drinking) to assure her that she wasn’t abandoning her kids. She had to accept in that moment, “This is not me being a bad mom. This is not my childhood. There’s a lot of stuff I have to work through.” So I get what Cameron is saying. She’s known Drew since they came and got her, and she had to put her life back together from there. I don’t think we know how hard she had it. We saw much of Drew working through it, but we probably don’t know what was going on.

But as much as I want to see Drew continue to heal, she has to learn who it’s okay to touch people and when to keep her hands to herself. It’s not ‘okay’ because it’s Drew petting you. That’s not okay period.

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18 Responses to “Cameron Diaz on Drew Barrymore: you can’t comprehend how hard it was for her as a child”

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  1. PaperclipExtraordinaire says:

    Will never understand why an addict thought it okay to drink. She also mentions having to take a Xanax recently. Isn’t that not a good thing for an addict to do? It’s extremely addictive. I think she’s a good person, but I also think she’s blind to her substance abuse issues, no matter how much she talks about recovery. It makes me sad.

    • manda says:

      I assumed she must have had some kind of “permission” from her therapist. I really don’t know how it all works or what the theories are, but it would seem like if you are in a totally different place, maturity and experience wise, then maybe it might be ok? I would also think that it might be frightening to think about but then some people might want to try to prove they can keep control? Yes, xanax can be very addictive, from what I’ve read, but if you really only take it every once in a while, then that won’t happen. It’s just that I’ve seen that some doctors tell you to take three or more a day, or as needed, without really addressing how easy it is to abuse

      • Blue Nails Betty says:

        “ It’s just that I’ve seen that some doctors tell you to take three or more a day, or as needed, without really addressing how easy it is to abuse”

        So much this. I have c-PTSD , ADHD, and anxiety. On the rare occasion I’ve asked for a Xanax prescription I always ask for the lowest dosage and then cut them in half. That little half is PLENTY for me (taken only at night).

        Doctors often over do the dosages and frequency of drugs. When people don’t know how they’ll react to a drug, messed up dosages can do so much harm.

    • LooseSeal says:

      I mean, that’s just how addiction works. You sound like you think it’s a character problem, but it’s amazing how the lies addiction tells you can find their way through the cracks you’re not even aware of. Recovery is a relentless process, and a relapse doesn’t indicate some deep moral failing. My partner is in recovery, and I’m so proud of the work he does every day. And when life is hard on him he works even harder. He doesn’t have the option to give into the suck like I do (I get irritable, he gets blacked out). The strength that takes is inspiring to watch. We treat addicts like they’re broken, but we’re all broken. The difference is addicts don’t have the option of staying broken, and we should give them more credit for that. Even in the face of a relapse – maybe especially in the face of a relapse.

      • Driver8 says:

        @LooseSeal, I just want to say I love everything you wrote. “We’re all broken”. So true.

      • Andrea Riordan says:

        Just wanted to say how beautiful this statement is. I got goosebumps. What a gorgeous writer you are!

      • Arpeggi says:

        Yup! All this!

        I’ll add that total abstinence is not the only path available to those living with an addiction, there are other ways to deal with your addiction that are just as effective or even more for you.

    • It Really Is You, Not Me says:

      A lot of addicts relapse because they think they can have just one or two and be fine….but it’s an extremely

    • Elo says:

      Just because you are addicted to one substance doesn’t mean you are addicted to all substances, and not all addictions are physical – some are symptoms of mental health issues and the problematic behavior ceases with mental health care. The once an addict always an addict thought is AA rhetoric which is not only false but also damaging and stigmatizing.
      Through a divorce and pandemic – she experienced problematic drinking likely used as a coping mechanism. It doesn’t mean that she can’t take a Xanax if she needs one, it doesn’t mean she will automatically become addicted to Xanax, especially if she has proper coping strategies in place from therapy. Substance use, and misuse is not black and white at all and it’s largely wrapped up in mental health.

  2. Ariel says:

    I’m old enough to remember all this as it happened. And yeah not rehab- but a lock down facility for a year.
    When she got out she opted out of high school because students were awful to her, she was a waitress for a time, and she lived with a finally sober David Crosby and his wife for a time, since living with her mother was not an option for her.

    Abd that’s just the stuff after age 14.

    Who takes their 9yo to studio 54…. A woman using a famous 9 yo to get herself entry to and vip status at studio 54.

    It’s lovely she has a loving and positive energy- could be part of her survival mechanism.

  3. manda says:

    I had no idea they’ve been friends since they were teenagers! They really pushed that they became friends on charlie’s angels (or maybe that they were all friends, without really addressing WHEN they became friends, but I think it was highly implied). I wonder how? I mean, I know cam grew up in the LA area (famously bought weed from Snoop in HS, unless that’s an urban legend). Did they live in the same part of town? Was Cam in some kind of substance abuse thing as a teen? Interesting but also cool. Good friends are really worth their weight in gold, and I feel like a lot of people don’t really have them (or sacrifice them for men, which, gag)

    • ABCD says:

      If I remember correctly the article said they met when Drew was a waitress and Cameron was a customer there. Love that they stayed friends

  4. R says:

    thank you for saying people should always ask/check in with other people whether it’s okay to hug or touch them.

  5. JoanCallamezzo says:

    Doesn’t she have a wine brand? That’s what I never understood, like Brad Pitt, if you have addiction issues is that a good look?

  6. Shim says:

    What I’ve yet to see in any of the dialogue, is exactly how abusing such substances, through the entirety of her brain development, effected said development. There are a lot of attributes Drew has, that are very child like.

  7. AngryJayne says:

    Same, and yes I love “There’s a choice to be had in how you see your circumstances,” too.
    It’s true – growing up for me wasn’t awesome, but it 100% made me who I am now.
    It definitely drove me and gave me the incentive to build everything that I have today.

  8. DivaLibra says:

    Is it just me or do their bodies look slim while their faces look puffy!?