Lena Dunham Praises "Sober Queens"

By Kelly Burch 03/25/19

Dunham has been sober since May 2018.

Lena Dunham

Actress Lena Dunham, who has been sober since May 2018, went on Twitter to acknowledge the celebrities who had recently opened up about their sobriety. 

“First Lala Kent and now Wendy Williams—so proud of all these strong sober queens,” Dunham wrote on Twitter. “It’s a bumpy path for us all, but admitting you need help is the beginning of true freedom. Sometimes it’s stronger to be weak for a moment.”

Last week, talk show host Williams announced that she is living in a sober home

"For some time now, and even today and beyond, I have been living in a sober house," she said on The Wendy Williams Show. "And you know, I've had a struggle with cocaine in my past and I never went to a place to get the treatment. I don't know how, except God was sitting on my shoulder and I just stopped.”

Also this month, reality television star Lala Kent of Vanderpump Rules publicly said that she was in a 12-step program for alcoholism. She had previously mentioned that she was getting sober, but didn’t talk about having a substance use disorder. 

“Five months ago, I came to the realization that I am an alcoholic, and I am now a friend of Bill W., which you will never know how much this program means to me [and] has given me new life,” Kent wrote on Instagram. 

Dunham, writer and director of the HBO series Girls, is familiar with the struggles of early sobriety. She spoke on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert in November about how she has been adjusting to life without anxiety meds. Initially, she said, the medications made her feel “like the person I was supposed to be.” 

“I was having crazy anxiety and having to show up for things that I didn’t feel equipped to show up for. But I know I need to do it, and when I take a Klonopin, I can do it,” she said. 

However, over time, she realized that her drug use was becoming problematic. 

"It stopped being, 'I take one when I fly,' and it started being like, 'I take one when I’m awake,'" she said at the time. “It stopped feeling like I had panic attacks and it started feeling like I was a living panic attack. During that time I was taking Klonopin, it wasn’t making it better but I just thought, 'If I don’t take this, how much worse will it get?’”

At the time, she said her brain was still adjusting to its new normal. 

"I still feel like my brain is recalibrating itself to experience anxiety,” she said. "I just feel, literally, on my knees grateful every day." 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.