CNN  — 

Cara Delevingne has revealed that she’s four months sober, saying “sometimes you need a reality check.”

“This process obviously has its ups and downs,” the 30-year-old British model and actress told Vogue as she opened up about her experiences with addiction and depression.

“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.”

She checked herself into rehab late last year, sparked in part by photos taken by paparazzi at the Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles in September.

Showing her disheveled, the photos were a source of overwhelming shame and a wake up call, Delevingne told Vogue in an interview published Wednesday.

“I hadn’t slept,” she said, recalling that she had just returned from Burning Man after a summer of intense partying, and was traveling to a work engagement. “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,” she said, adding in an accompanying video that press attention “makes the whole cycle worse for people going through it.”

Delevingne is photographed for Vogue.

That moment, coupled with depression worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, the loss of her grandmother, lifelong struggles with addiction – she recalled her first experience misusing alcohol aged seven – and reckoning with her identity while filming “Planet Sex,” culminated in Delevingne seeking support and therapy.

After the photos were released, Delevingne says that her friends rallied around her and that she committed to the 12-step program – a peer support group first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous that entails surrendering to a higher power, whatever form that may take.

“This time I realized that 12-step treatment was the best thing, and it was about not being ashamed of that,” she said. “The community made a huge difference. The opposite of addiction is connection, and I really found that in 12-step.”

Delevingne said she spent Christmas and New Year sober with her girlfriend, Leah Mason, “having the nicest time,” and has incorporated meditation and movement into her twice-daily yoga practice.

“I still have a lot of energy,” she said, “but it’s not erratic. I’m calmer. I’m stiller.”

Sharing the Vogue interview with her Instagram followers on Wednesday, Delevingne said in an accompanying caption: “Every single story is important and this is mine. We are all human. Of course we will fall and make mistakes. We will walk through really hard things in life but it’s how we get back up again.”

“To anyone out there still struggling, don’t give up, you are not alone,” she added on Instagram.