In this week's issue of Parade, "Whip It" director/star Drew Barrymore talks about lessons learned from marriage, rehab, and family pain. Check out the excerpts below, then visit Parade.com for the full interview.
On her seemingly carefree spirit.
"I don't know if I'm completely comfortable ever. Sometimes I can totally let go with complete abandon -- sing and dance and run around and not care what people think about me. Still, there seems to be this ball of stress inside me that I can't get rid of."
Working for happiness.
"That is exactly what it feels like to me. It feels as if I'm willing myself to be happy. I do feel as if I am thrusting myself forward all the time. Nancy, who runs my production company and is my favorite person I've met in my life so far, had on her refrigerator the sign HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. When I first saw it, I thought, 'That is so simple and yet complex and wise.' As you can see, I get verklempt just talking about it."
Her own complicated mother/daughter story.
"I believe she will see the film ['Whip It']. I believe she does feel pride in me. I used to pull a lot emotionally from all the stuff with my family, but I did not do this movie to cleanse myself of the mother/daughter debacle that happened in my life. I have been much more objective about my childhood and my relationship with my mother in these last few years. I used to be more attached to all that. I won't deny that the baggage was there at one point."
Battling long-term sobriety.
"No, I'm not [completely sober]. And I don't claim to be -- quite the opposite. I've tried to find the balance. I hope it's balanced."
She's in no rush to find a mate.
"Sexual love is secondary to me right now. I've spent a lot of time in my life dedicating myself to love or the pursuit of love or the understanding of love. But for the last few years, my life just hasn't been about that for me. It's just not about the mother baggage. It's not about the boy. It's about something completely different, and it's very refreshing. I'm trying to understand it and relish it."
What she's learned from life's ups and downs.
"I've stopped believing in happy endings. I've started believing in good days. At the end of my movie, there's honesty. There's truth. There's peace. What tomorrow will bring is still in question. There is a joy that's earned by failure or triumph. All those things add up to teach us, if we are open to it."
On finally feeling like a grown-up.
"I've always wondered what it felt like to be an adult, because I've always had to mother myself. I think maybe I finally am one."