Cara shared that she's now over four months sober — a decision she says she made from the shame and embarrassment she experienced after concerning paparazzi pics of her at a Los Angeles airport leaked last year.
“I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,” she said of the photos, noting she'd just traveled from Burning Man and was on her way back to work. “It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, 'Okay, I don’t look well.'”
Cara said the moment was a wake-up call for her to make some life changes: “You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”
Cara shared that, before then, she'd struggled with alcohol, mental health issues, insomnia, and dyspraxia. She'd had people try to stage "interventions of a sort," but she resisted. "I wasn’t ready," she admitted. "That’s the problem. If you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t."
But Cara says after those paparazzi pics, she “really was" ready to make a change and sought treatment. “I hadn’t seen a therapist in three years,” she shared. “I just kind of pushed everyone away, which made me realize how much I was in a bad place. I always thought that the work needs to be done when the times are bad, but actually the work needs to be done when they’re good. The work needs to be done consistently. It’s never going to be fixed or fully healed, but I’m okay with that, and that’s the difference.”
Cara said the 12-step program has been the "best thing" for her — but she's also made other helpful changes too, like practicing meditation, psychodrama, and exercising regularly.
“This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much," she said. "People want my story to be this after-school special where I just say, ‘Oh look, I was an addict, and now I’m sober and that’s it.’ And it’s not as simple as that. It doesn’t happen overnight. … Of course I want things to be instant — I think this generation especially, we want things to happen quickly — but I’ve had to dig deeper."
You can read Cara's entire interview here.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.