Chrissy Teigen on her troubled relationship with alcohol: “I need to fix myself”

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Kayleigh Dray
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Chrissy Teigen has always been up-front and honest with her fans – that’s one of the reasons so many people love her. In the past, we’ve seen her leak her own Twitter conversations, talk about her experience with postnatal depression and anxiety, address her use of IVF, hit back at that annoying #relationshipgoals hashtag, and tackle sexist media outlets.

Now, in a frank and no-holds-barred interview, Teigen has bravely opened up about her fraught relationship with alcohol.

Explaining that it all began innocently enough, Teigen recalls how she would have a drink backstage, or head off to a boozy brunch, or sip on a few glasses of wine on a night out. But, over time, the alcohol units piled up – and it quickly became apparent that all of those ‘harmless little treats’ weren’t quite as harmless as they seemed.

“I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” Teigen reveals in an interview with Cosmopolitan.

“I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected. And that feeling, there's just nothing like that. You feel horrible.”

According to Teigen, the ever-present supply of alcohol made available at celebrity events became a real problem for her because she “can't just have one drink.”

But, perhaps most damaging of all, was the fact that nobody noticed that she was struggling.

“Nobody really brought it up to me,” she says. “They just assumed that it was OK because I always felt OK the next morning.

“I knew in my heart it wasn’t right.”

Teigen attended a wellness retreat in Bali, where she abstained from alcohol entirely – and felt all the better for it.

“I used to think it was kind of nutty to have to go totally sober,” she says, “but now I get it. I don't want to be that person.

“I have to fix myself.”

Teigen has always made a point of being open about her personal struggles: earlier this year, she penned a powerful essay about her battle to achieve mental wellness.

Admitting that she “just didn’t think [postnatal depression] could happen to me”, she went on to point out that mental health “does not discriminate.”

“I couldn’t control it,” wrote Teigen. “And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do… [but] I’m speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone.

“I also don’t want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody. But one thing I do know is that – for me – just merely being open about it helps.”

According to the NHS, there are ways to keep our risk of alcohol-related harm low.

These include:

  • not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week
  • if you drink as much as 14 units a week, it's best to spread this evenly over three or more days
  • if you're trying to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, it's a good idea to have several alcohol-free days each week

You could be misusing alcohol if:

  • you feel you should cut down on your drinking
  • other people have been criticising your drinking
  • you feel guilty or bad about your drinking
  • you need a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover

If you're concerned about your drinking or someone else's, a good first step is to visit your GP. They'll be able to discuss the services and treatments available. 

Images: Instagram/chrissyteigen


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.