Drew Barrymore Says She Was a 'Walking Cautionary Tale' as a Teen — and That's a Good Thing Now (Exclusive)

Drew Barrymore Says She Was a 'Walking Cautionary Tale' as a Teen — and That's a Good Thing Now (Exclusive)

"I know that I'm not lost anymore," says the 'Drew Barrymore Show' host

Drew Barrymore is living by her mantra that sharing your story will make others feel less alone.

In honor of PEOPLE's 50th anniversary, The Drew Barrymore Show host, producer, actress, author and entrepreneur looked back on her 15 covers for the magazine, including one when she was 13 years old and dealing with substance abuse issues.

The 1989 interview, done while she was still in a treatment center, “was very empowering,” Barrymore, now 49, tells PEOPLE.

"When I look at it now, I don't see sadness or tragedy. I love that I was a walking cautionary tale because then when we talk about how we raise our kids in a world where they're all out there in social media, we all have to be almost parents in the mindset of what the Hollywood parents were like, which is: Do I want to protect my child, or what are the boundaries? What should I be teaching them? We're all rowing in that boat."

Related: Drew Barrymore Reflects on Growing Up in the Spotlight Since 11 Months Old: 'You Never Figure It All Out'

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/aspictures/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Art Streiber</a></p> Drew Barrymore

Art Streiber

Drew Barrymore

The mother of two daughters, Olive, 11, and Frankie, 10 this month, says her life experiences have helped her navigate parenthood.

"I actually feel like this gives me such a beautiful little merit badge, like a scout's honor to get into that conversation and know how to navigate that as a parent myself."

The star, whose 1990 memoir was titled Little Girl Lost, takes pride in how far she’s come since her teen years. “I know that I'm not lost anymore,” she says.

“I may feel lost again at different moments, because you never figure it all out and it never all comes together at some point, but you just keep finding things," says Barrymore. "And if you hold onto those findings, then you have this collection of wisdom.”

She hopes her experiences can help everyone have a little perspective when they go through tough times.

"There might be another [low point] down the road. It's okay. You will get through it," she says. "You might not do it on your own. You might do it by reaching out and you might do it by daring to be so honest that you feel so naked and almost flipped out about, ‘What did I just say? Or what did I just put out there? I can't take it back now.’ Let that be a liberation that is invitational to other people to not feel bad when they're going through it.”

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Drew Barrymore on March 19, 2023

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Drew Barrymore on March 19, 2023

After all, Barrymore says, “When was the last time you met someone and they were like, ‘Yeah, I've never had a problem in my life, never went through a low point or a bad thing or had to learn a hard lesson or was embarrassed or did something I regretted'? Nobody. And if they're saying that, they're either lying or I'm very afraid [for them] because something's coming down the pike."

These experiences, she says, should inspire compassion for all of us.

“We all go through so much tender, difficult stuff in life, so if we're able to be transparent about that... I know I feel so much better if someone shares their story," says Barrymore. "Makes me feel so much less alone."

For more on our 50th Anniversary, check out our special digital issue, and pick up a star-studded copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands April 12.

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Read the original article on People.