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Jane Lynch recalls alcohol relapse and getting 'one more chance' at sobriety

The "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" star opened up about an alcohol relapse she had after many years of sobriety. "I woke up one day and went: ‘I’m back.'"

Jane Lynch is getting candid about her struggle with alcoholism and her new journey to sobriety, revealing that after many years sober, she relapsed about five years ago.

In an interview with The Guardian, the 61-year-old actor recalled how drinking at a young age kickstarted her problem with alcohol. It was a daily habit into her 30s.

“The first time you (have a drink), it’s like: ‘Ah, I found it. I feel happy in my body, this feeling of bliss," she said. "'No one can say anything to me that would make me upset or feel badly about myself right now.'"

"And then maybe the next time you drink, you get it again. Before you know it, it’s not doing it for you," she continued.

Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch at an event for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."Jason Mendez / AP

She added, "You end up chasing (that feeling). And then if you’re not chasing that, what are you doing? Who are you? You have to really face this emptiness.”

Lynch recounted how she evolved into a functioning alcoholic, working steadily as an actor but also staying at bars well past sunrise or being surprised to find vomit in her toilet the next morning.

Eventually, she decided that enough was enough and joined Alcoholics Anonymous.

"I just loved AA,” she told The Guardian. “It was very much a gift; it was almost like I was struck sober.”

Lynch said she stayed sober for years until about five years ago, when she started to drink recreationally. The "Glee" alum would pour herself a glass of wine when she was having dinner.

"I loved it,” she said. “I became a connoisseur of wine in a way that only an alcoholic can. I went back into denial, after all those years of sobriety and self-knowledge. I fooled myself — I woke up one day and went: ‘I’m back.’ It took about three years. I’m telling people I’m drinking one glass of wine a night, and I’m drinking five."

She added later, "The only part of the day that really mattered was five o’clock," when she would allow herself to have a drink.

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Lynch spoke to The Guardian about her struggle with alcoholism and reveals how she overcame it after a relapse about five years ago.Bravo

Lynch said she was drinking during the time she played Madeline Starkey on "The Good Fight" —  "I couldn’t wait to be done and go have a drink by myself,” she said — but thinks she had stopped when “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" began filming. She began appearing regularly on the show during its second season, which was released in late 2018.

Eventually, after some internal battles, she said she was struck by "the sober fairy" once again.

“(It was) like the sober fairy said, ‘OK, I’m giving you one more chance.’ And it was over,” she added. “Five o’clock would come and I didn’t notice it.”

Before she knew it, Lynch had her life back on track. In 2019, she won an Emmy for her performance as Sophie Lennon in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Not to mention, that her marriage with Jennifer Cheyne is as blissful as it could be.

“I live in this really cute house in a little beach town,” she said. “I’ve got a beautiful dog, a fantastic wife.”