Cara Delevingne is proudly sober — and it’s all thanks to those harrowing paparazzi photos!!
You may recall back in September a set of snapshots obtained by TMZ showed the actress looking disheveled and out of it as she walked around outside of a Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles without shoes on. If you don’t, you can get a refresher HERE.
It was pretty tough for fans to see the model in such a low spot, and things quickly escalated when reports came out revealing her friends were urging her to seek treatment since they were so worried about her erratic behavior. The incident also left some fans drawing comparisons to Cara’s mother Pandora, who struggles with bipolar disorder and heroin addiction. But then, somewhat miraculously, the 30-year-old artist appeared at Paris Fashion Week looking happy and healthy. So, what really happened?
Speaking candidly about the troubling snapshots with Vogue on Wednesday, the model admitted she felt a ton of shame and embarrassment when she saw the pics — but, ultimately, she’s “grateful” for the wakeup call. According to her, she was returning from Burning Man (after a three-week-long trip to Ibiza for her birthday). She thought she’d been having a good time until she got a sight of herself:
“I hadn’t slept. I was not okay. It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, Okay, I don’t look well. You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”
As the Only Murders in the Building star recalls it, she had been really struggling with mental health and addiction leading up to her 30th birthday, partly because of childhood traumas she’d yet to unpack and also depression from the pandemic. And when we say childhood traumas, we mean it. Her issues with alcohol go WAY back! The Paper Towns alum revealed the first time she ever had alcohol was when she was 7 YEARS OLD! It was at a family wedding, champagne was the drink of choice, and she “woke up in [her] granny’s house in [her] bedroom with a hangover.” From then on, she struggled with her mental health, such as “crippling insomnia,” and other diagnoses that placed her on medications that “saved [her] life,” but she still wasn’t addressing the root issues yet.
When 2020 rolled around she, like many, struggled with bouts of depression, particularly after she and her then-girlfriend of two years, Ashley Benson, broke up and stopped living together, she noted:
“In the beginning, I was living with people in this COVID bubble in LA. We thought it was going to be a weeklong thing, and so it was fun. And then I was alone, really alone…it was a low point. […] I just had a complete existential crisis. All my sense of belonging, all my validation—my identity, everything—was so wrapped up in work. And when that was gone, I felt like I had no purpose. I just wasn’t worth anything without work, and that was scary. Instead of taking the time to really learn something new or do something new, I got very wrapped up in misery, wallowing, and partying. It was a really sad time.”
This leads us to her 30th birthday. After enjoying her party girl lifestyle, she was determined to make her 30s “different,” but before she could commit to laying off the bottle, she wanted to go out with a bang! To do this, she planned a big Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday party which would include a three-week-long vacation in Ibiza, she explained:
“There was this need for change, but I was fighting it so much. I was welcoming in this new time but I was also grieving. It was like a funeral for my previous life, a goodbye to an era. And so I decided I was going to party as hard as I could because this was the end.”
Things came to a head when she jetted from Europe to Nevada for Burning Man, where she really let loose:
“There’s an element of feeling invincible when I’m on drugs. I put myself in danger in those moments because I don’t care about my life. […] I would climb anything and jump off stuff…it felt feral. It’s a scary thing to the people around you who love you.”
After the pap’s photos went viral online, her friends rallied around her, but she was resistant to their help because she “didn’t want to burden anyone” and felt many of the connections were too “shallow” at the time because of her fears of abandonment. Yet, she could start to see her actions leading to IRL consequences, and not just those affecting her own health but also her business. A brand Cara had once been the face of as a mental health advocate was starting to back off, and this lead her to seek more meaningful connections, she shared:
“From September, I just needed support. I needed to start reaching out. And my old friends I’ve known since I was 13, they all came over and we started crying. They looked at me and said, ‘You deserve a chance to have joy.’ ”
Thankfully, all of this really has led to positive change! She is now four months sober and counting!!! AMAZING! To help the Suicide Squad star make progress in her sobriety journey, she checked into rehab late last year, mostly because she knew she needed therapeutic help. Committing to the 12-step program has also been life-changing since it has reminded her that there’s no such thing as a “quick fix” and instead she should focus on the “deeper stuff” without any shame. She’s now hoping her story will help others feel inspired to make changes in their own lives, she wrote on Instagram:
“Every single story is important and this is mine. We are all human. Of course we will fall and make mistakes. We will walk through really hard things in life but it’s how we get back up again. We can learn and heal. Hard times are not final. Difficult circumstances don’t have to hold us down or define us. There is hope. Always hope. Right here, I am grateful and proud and ready for all that is to come. Remember it is never to late change the direction of your story. To anyone out there still struggling, don’t give up, you are not alone.”
So well said. We couldn’t be happier to know she’s finally — for real this time — doing the work to live her best life. To read more, check out the full cover story HERE. You can also hear her open up even more (below).
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If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, help is available. Consider checking out the resources SAMHSA provides at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline or check out StartYourRecovery.org