For Jamie Lee Curtis, this week marks a big milestone: 22 years of sobriety. The Halloween star posted a heartfelt caption on Instagram, commemorating the date and all the progress she’s made in that time.
“A LONG time ago… In a galaxy far, far away… I was a young STAR at WAR with herself. I didn’t know it then. I chased everything. I kept it hidden. I was a sick as my secrets,” she wrote in the caption alongside a young photo of herself posing with a bottle of liquor. “With God’s grace and the support of MANY people who could relate to all the ‘feelings’ and a couple of sober angels…I’ve been able to stay sober, one day at a time, for 22 years.”
She ended the post with a message to anyone else dealing with substance use issues right now. “To all those struggling and those who are on the path MY HAND IN YOURS,” she said. (“My hand in yours” is a favorite phrase of Curtis’s and is also the name of the company she founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, which sells items designed to be gifted to those who need a little comfort and gives 100% of the profits to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.)
Curtis revealed in 2018 that she dealt with an addiction to opioids for a decade on her own. “I was the wildly controlled drug addict and alcoholic,” she told Variety in 2019. “I never did it when I worked. I never took drugs before 5 p.m. I never, ever took painkillers at 10 in the morning.” Because she drank in this “very controlled way, a very Jamie way,” she says addiction and alcoholism may follow individual patterns—and require a lot of self-reflection to diagnose.
“No one else can actually tell you you’re an alcoholic,” she explained. “They can tell you that you drink too much or in their opinion that you drink too much or that when you drink too much, it really makes them angry. But to call yourself an alcoholic or a drug addict is a badge of honor. It is a way of acknowledging something that is a profound statement and can be, for many people, life-changing.”
And, she continued, the stigma surrounding substance use encourages people to keep their struggles secret. “It is the secret shame that keeps people locked up in their disease.”
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