Selma Blair credits her childhood battle with alcoholism with saving her from personal trauma.
The “Cruel Intentions” star reveals in her upcoming memoir, “Mean Baby,” that she first got drunk at age 7 and eventually turned to drinking for “comfort.”
“I don’t know if I would have survived childhood without alcoholism,” he told People in an interview published Wednesday. “That’s why it’s such a big problem for a lot of people.
“It really is a great comfort, a great relief at first. Maybe even the early years for me because I started very young with that as a consolation, as my coping mechanism.”
Blair, 49, elaborated on the “Today” show on Wednesday when asked by Savannah Guthrie how she was able to function with alcohol for so many years: “It was hard. But maybe it got easier. Maybe I never would have survived without a drink”.
The actress writes in her book, which hits stores May 17, that being intoxicated for the first time was a “revelation.”
“I always liked Passover. As I sipped the Manischewitz I was allowed throughout the seder for a light to wash over me, filling me with the warmth of God,” she recalls in a salvo obtained by People. “But the year I was seven years old, when we basically had Manischewitz on tap and no one was paying attention to my level of consumption, I put it together: the feeling was not God but fermentation.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is a big disappointment, but since I happen to get the warmth of the Lord from a bottle, thank God there’s one here.’ I got drunk that night. Very drunk. Eventually, I was put in my sister Katie’s bed with her. In the morning, she didn’t remember how she got there.”
Blair shares that when she started drinking alcohol, she didn’t get drunk and just took “quick sips whenever [her] the anxiety would flare.”
“Usually I barely get drunk. I became an expert on alcoholism, an expert on hiding my secret,” she writes.
Her alcoholism worsened when she reached her 20s, and she details that she was raped during a spring break trip to college after a day of drunkenness.
“I don’t know if they both raped me. One of them definitely did,” she recalls. “I made myself small and quiet and waited for it to end. I wish I could say that what happened to me that night was an anomaly, but it wasn’t. I have been raped several times because I was too drunk to say the words ‘Please’. Stop.’ Only once was it violent. I walked out of every event calm and embarrassed.”
Blair says that she only told her therapist about her rapes, but decided to include the stories in her memoir because it was an important part of the healing process.
“Writing that stopped me in my tracks,” he told People. “My sense of trauma was greater than I thought. I didn’t realize that assault was so central to my life. I had so much shame and guilt. I am grateful that I felt confident enough to put it on the page. And then I can work on it with a therapist and with other writing, and really ease that burden of shame on myself.”
Blair got sober in 2016 and chose to share her story to help others who have struggled with addiction.
“I wrote the book for my son [Arthur, 10, with ex Jason Bleick] … And for the people who are trying to find the deepest hole to crawl into until the pain passes,” he told the magazine.
As for how he’s doing these days, he added: “I’m in a good place. I can’t believe all this has happened in my life, and I’m still here and I’m fine.”
Blair also spoke about how her 2018 multiple sclerosis diagnosis gave her the courage to finally speak out about the challenges she has faced.
“It really was the gift I received when I was vulnerable to MS,” he said on “Today,” adding, “There is no room for blame.”