"I was in a void," the Sex and the City alum tells the Ratio Times of her chronic insonmia

By Aurelie Corinthios
Updated June 07, 2016 03:50 PM
Credit: Getty

Kim Cattrall is opening up about her battle with chronic insomnia – and how she overcame it.

Cattrall, who was forced to drop out of the lead role in the Royal Court production of Linda last year, told the British Radio Times in a new interview that “the whole story is more complex than being a disease of the week, than someone saying: ‘I have this battle.’ ”

“It was a gorilla sitting on my chest,” revealed the Sex and the City alum, 59. “I didn’t understand the debilitating consequence of having no sleep.”

“It became a tsunami,” she added. “I was in a void.”

Cattrall, who stars in HBO Canada’s Sensitive Skin, says she’s “sacrificed a lot of her personal life and relationships because of her love of work.”

“I’m not a one-off; there are lots of women like me out there,” she continued. “Our mothers went through the Great Depression and world war; we feel we can’t let anybody down. Because everyone would point to it, like they do with Hillary Clinton and say, ‘Oh, she’s crying today.’ ”

At the end of the day though, her health had to come first. Of her difficult decision to withdraw from the play, Cattrall admitted that she “didn’t want to let down the audience, the theater, playwright or the actors.”

“Letting go of all that was the hardest part but I realized the work that I really needed to do was more important than the play – it was work on my sanity,” she said.

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Cattrall went on to recount her troubling return to the United States.

“I hadn’t slept for 48 hours and had to wait six hours to get my 18-year-old cat through customs,” she said. “When the customs officer said: ‘So, how much is your cat worth?’ I couldn’t stop laughing hysterically.”

Back home, the actress began cognitive behavior therapy to treat her insomnia.

“It’s like putting on a pair of sneakers and going into your past to get a new perspective,” she explained. “And I was gentle with myself. So last Christmas wasn’t about friends and relations; it was a monastic experience of trying to delve.”

The first season of Sensitive Skin is available on Netflix.