Lena Dunham Opens Up About Her Year of Sobriety & the Lessons She’s Learned

Lena Dunham has never shied away from being completely honest and open about her life, work and even her health. So, when Dunham revealed that she hit one year of sobriety this week in a lengthy post on Instagram, it should be no surprise that she elaborated on the lessons she’s learned about her relationship with drugs and other substances in that time frame. Dunham’s reflections are candid, yes, but they are also enlightening and inspiring.

Dunham took to her Instagram on Wednesday, posting a photo of herself looking radiant and happy, and it’s clear to see that she’s ready to let the world in on what’s been going on in her life. The last year has been unimaginably tough for Dunham, she opened up last year about getting and healing from a hysterectomy; knowing she’s also been working on her sobriety during this time only makes hearing about her journey that much more eye-opening.

“Today I’m in the miraculous position of being one year sober. I’ve done a lot of cool things in this life, but none has brought me the peace, joy and lasting connections that being part of a sober fellowship has,” Dunham writes, continuing with, “Life is full of problems, but the cool thing about this one is that there is a solution: in every city, in many countries, you can find a group of people who are working hard to live sober, accountable lives and want to support you on your quest to do the same.”

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Today I’m in the miraculous position of being one year sober. I’ve done a lot of cool things in this life, but none has brought me the peace, joy and lasting connections that being part of a sober fellowship has (not even all girls camp. Sorry, Bunk Kingfisher.) Life is full of problems, but the cool thing about this one is that there is a solution: in every city, in many countries, you can find a group of people who are working hard to live sober, accountable lives and want to support you on your quest to do the same. I didn’t know I had an issue with drugs for a long time: because they were doctor prescribed, because I was outwardly successful and not a wild in da club party chick. But wouldn’t you say that hurting people you love is an issue? Wouldn’t you say feeling lost and lonely much of the time is an issue? Wouldn’t you say wearing shorts to a movie premiere *is* an issue? Sobriety hasn’t fixed my world. Life is still challenging- that’s the nature of the game. But every day I am surprised by the richness and depth of, well, reality. I don’t need to escape this beautiful carnival. Instead, I’m on the ride. Please remember you are never too far gone, too broken or too unique. There are people in plain sight waiting to help you. Let’s do this.

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Dunham goes on to reveal that sobriety has made her come to terms with her past problems with drugs, too. She writes in her post: “I didn’t know I had an issue with drugs for a long time: because they were doctor prescribed because I was outwardly successful and not a wild in da club party chick. But wouldn’t you say that hurting people you love is an issue? Wouldn’t you say feeling lost and lonely much of the time is an issue? Wouldn’t you say wearing shorts to a movie premiere *is* an issue?”

The reflective post concludes with Dunham’s biggest takeaways about sobriety at the one-year mark, and they’re truly beautiful to read: “Sobriety hasn’t fixed my world. Life is still challenging- that’s the nature of the game. But every day I am surprised by the richness and depth of, well, reality. I don’t need to escape this beautiful carnival. Instead, I’m on the ride. Please remember you are never too far gone, too broken or too unique. There are people in plain sight waiting to help you. Let’s do this.”

Back in late October 2018, Dunham opened up about hitting the six-months sober milestone on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. During that interview, Dunham shared that she didn’t realize at the time that there were any dangerous implications from taking doctor-prescribed medicines for health concerns like anxiety.

“It stopped being, ‘I take one when I fly,’ and it started being like, ‘I take one when I’m awake,'” Dunham told Shepard, later explaining, “I didn’t have any trouble getting a doctor to tell me, ‘No, you’ve got serious anxiety issues, you should be taking this. This is how you should be existing.”

Dunham recalled during the interview that life on those medications became even more unbearable than not taking them, choosing to wean herself off powerful meds for the sake of her well-being.

“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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