English model and actress, 30, said she reflected on her mental health struggles and addiction battle after sparking concern with a series of troubled public appearances.
Cara, who is April’s cover star for Vogue magazine, told the publication that she hadn’t been ‘ready’ to tackle her demons until she fell into a ‘bad place’.
She explained: ‘I’ve had interventions of a sort, but I wasn’t ready. That’s the problem.
‘I hadn’t seen a therapist in three years. I just kind of pushed everyone away, which made me realize how much I was in a bad place.’
Cara continued: ‘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’s wellbeing had been at the forefront of her friends and family’s concern last year after she was pictured behaving erratically on various occasions.
The model explained that she had been lying to herself about her health and it wasn’t until she saw herself in the photographs that she realised she needed help.
‘I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,’ she explained. ‘It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, “Okay, I don’t look well.”
‘You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.’
At the time, Cara was pictured being visited by friends and family and she explained that it made her realise how loved she is.
She confessed that she had many ‘shallow’ relationships because she would hold back on her emotions so as not to ‘burden’ anyone and because of her fear of abandonment.
‘If you ask any of my friends, they would say they’d never seen me cry,’ she confessed.
‘From September, I just needed support. I needed to start reaching out. And my old friends I’ve known since I was 13, they all came over and we started crying. They looked at me and said, “You deserve a chance to have joy.”‘
Through her work in therapy, Cara realised that she needed to stop chasing the idea of a ‘quick fix’ to healing and has committed to following the 12-step programme.
She explained: ‘Before I was always into the quick fix of healing, going to a weeklong retreat or to a course for trauma, say, and that helped for a minute, but it didn’t ever really get to the nitty-gritty, the deeper stuff.’
While Cara has made peace with the fact that her journey won’t be straightforward, she said she struggles with the fact that outsiders don’t understand.
She shared her frustrations at people simplifying her struggles, noting that her recovery won’t happen ‘overnight’ and she’s aware it will be a lifelong commitment.
She explained: ‘This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much. 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.’
Reflecting on how her mental health impacted her addiction issues she explained that she fell into a deep depression during lockdown.
She started her quarantine in Los Angeles with Ashley Benson, her then girlfriend of almost two years but when the couple split: ‘I was alone, really alone…it was a low point.’
‘I just had a complete existential crisis. All my sense of belonging, all my validation—my identity, everything—was so wrapped up in work. And when that was gone, I felt like I had no purpose. I just wasn’t worth anything without work, and that was scary.
‘I got very wrapped up in misery, wallowing, and partying. It was a really sad time.’
It is certainly a sad chapter in the story of Cara’s life – which has already been filled with many twists, turns, and excitement.
The model also struggled with a heroin addiction and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Cara’s first experience with alcohol abuse was just seven years old. She admitted she stole glasses of Champagne at a family wedding and woke up with a hangover.
By the age of 10, she was abusing sleeping pills to tackle her insomnia.
Cara, who identifies as pansexual, said she spent years coming to terms with her sexuality, which resulted in her suffering from mental health issues of her own starting at age 15, with her later revealing that she practiced in self-harm as a teen.
It comes after Cara revealed she will be ‘taking time to heal’ and enjoy the next chapter of her life after ‘things clicked’ with her milestone 30th birthday.