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Drew Barrymore writes raw, honest Mother's Day blog detailing her stay in rehab as a teen

A great read for those who have mom challenges of their own.

drew barrymore, mothers day

Drew Barrymore has always had a complicated relationship with her mother.

Drew Barrymore made a recent blog post in honor of Mother’s Day reflecting on her own complicated mother-daughter relationship, which eventually led to the actress and talk show host filing for emancipation at the age of 14.

Barrymore has long been candid about having a turbulent childhood, and in her blog post, she details being sent by her mother to a mental health facility in her adolescence, where she spent two years in the center's youth program attending individual and group therapy.


While going to rehab was certainly a humbling experience for the teen star, looking back she can confirm it was also a “revelatory” one, particularly in the way she viewed the importance of adults setting up protective structures for kids.

“I understand now: kids love feeling safe, and having boundaries is one of those crucial bumper rails. I lived a boundaryless life and job. And this place, as hellacious as it was, it was exactly what I needed from the too much excess my life had become on the outside,” she wrote.

During that time, she also learned the importance of advocating for one’s own emotional needs, even if that means putting distance between themselves and those they dearly love. Certainly a relatable lesson for many.

“It taught me the foundations of telling your truth…Your feelings. Your faults. Your hopes and wishes. Your hurts. What and where you wanted to get to in life,” she wrote. “And—very important—who was going to help you on your path and who would you have to let go. For me…it was my mother.”

When Barrymore did emancipate from her mother, there was a newfound sense of freedom (“the umbilical cord was severed,” she wrote). But still, she had to learn to reparent herself and somehow establish a structure she had never been taught. No easy task.

“I cannot give myself rave reviews. I drank too much. Partied and burned the candle at every end. I danced on desks and posed half-naked in the name of art. Nothing I judge. It’s my history. I was just trying to figure out how to grow up and who I wanted to become,” she shared.

Though over the years she has found a way to bring stability into her life, Barrymore admitted that being a mother “constantly triggers everything from my own childhood now,” especially since today, with social media providing “everything at your fingertips,” kids live in a similar world to what she grew up in. “It is the world I promised my daughters wouldn’t experience…and yet all our kids are in it now,” she shared.

And still, she declared that being a mom is the “greatest thing” she will ever do in her life.

“Everything in my experience here on this pale blue dot has been for them,” she wrote. “And now it is also my chance to not make it about me but learn how to deal with all that comes with choosing to be a parent.”

As for her current relationship with her mom, Barrymore finished her blog post by sharing that it had recently been her mother’s birthday. After sending a quick and simple birthday message, her mother wrote back, “Thank you so much! I’m incredibly proud of you and send you love,” which felt like the “greatest gift.”

And to her girls, Barrymore had this sweet Mother’s Day message: I just hope I can be someone who makes you feel safe,” she wrote. “And that you can laugh with. And that you can tell me anything. I’m here for it. I’m in the circle with you… for life.”

Barrymore has a reputation for being raw and honest, but fans seemed more profoundly struck by the vulnerability of this essay.

"I love your openness and honesty about what you have been through and experienced. Your example helps those you struggle in their own ways to see past the step they are on in this thing called life and know you can continue in whatever way/path you choose,” one person commented on Barrymore’s Instagram.

Another wrote, “Thank you! For your openness, for sharing and for fighting to be different and be yourself, for helping me set my heart at peace and know I am being true to myself. Happy Mother’s Day you beautiful human!”

Mother’s Day can indeed be a complicated time for many. The holiday can trigger feelings of loss, betrayal, resentment, yearning, fear—maybe all of the above and all at once—if someone’s relationship with their own mom was/is turbulent. There has been more awareness and sensitivity around this in recent years. Many companies have even given the option for customers to opt out of any Mother’s Day-related messaging.

No matter what wounds our mothers might have left us with, open conversations can be healing, be it online, in therapy groups or in our close friend circles. Who knows, it might just provide that bit of nurturing the soul has been searching for all along.

If you’d like to read Barrymore’s full blog post, click here.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

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