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Adele on Postpartum Depression and Alcohol

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Photo by Marc E. (CCBY)
In 2009, the world was taken back by the sultry grey-eyed, English singer-songwriter, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins or better known as: Adele. Her lyrics and strong vocals brought everyone to tears. Each song more relatable than the last one. Whether you were 45 or 15, you could belt her songs like nobody’s business. Since then, she has won Grammy Award after Grammy Award and is one of the UK’s best-selling singer/songwriters in history.

Last month, the singer spoke to Vanity Fair about mental health, drinking and why she had to make some changes in her life after the birth of her son. During her ‘Chasing Pavements’ days, Adele found herself stuck in a drunken daze. She shares, “I used to love to be drunk, but as I got more famous I would wake up the next morning and think, ‘What did I say and who the did I say it to?’ I never had blackouts, but when you’re drunk and you go to a party, you’ll talk to anyone and of course, share way too much.” Yet, her love affair with alcohol began when her songs became popular. She believed that her songs were the only best when she was in a daze because that was when she was the most ‘honest’.

At this time, she was in her early twenties. During this time of heavy drinking, she wrote hits like “Chasing Pavements,” and several of the tracks on her second album, 21. Her routine was this: “[She] would drink two bottles of wine, and would chain-smoke. Then [She would] write the lyrics down.” She knew that her life was falling apart even though her life was just beginning lyrically.

When she settled down with Simon Konecki and had her first child with him, everything had changed at that moment. She deems, “I’m not as indulgent as I was then, and I don’t have time to fall apart like I did then”. One of the reasons that Adele can no longer “fall apart” is because of her four-year-old son, Angelo.

Yet, shortly after his birth, Adele suffered from really bad postpartum depression. Due to fear and shame, she did not seek medical help more did she talk to anyone about it. It was a very dark time for her and she feared that her life would go back into a downward spiral of chain-smoking and wine binges. She found herself consumed with worry and feelings of inadequacy. To her, she felt as if she “made the worst decision of [her] life”. But giving herself time away from the baby and speaking to other mothers helped her heal. She understands the importance of speaking about these topics specifically because of her fame.

Being aware of her struggle with depression and alcohol use, has given her a different lens. She is grateful for every morning that she has as she remains focused on what best serves her and her family. “My life is more important to me than anything I’m doing and if I ever think about going down that road again, I must know that I may lose everything” she said.

For those that struggle with depression there are a variety of therapies that are available to help with their illness. Many professionals often prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy to help those that are suffering through symptoms of depression. Fortunately there are new types of therapy that are also being used to help those that are struggling with depression in their lives. A type of therapy that can be used daily to help those that suffer from depression is through mindfulness meditation.

At New Directions for Women, we incorporate mindfulness meditation into our daily curriculum for our patients. Mindfulness is an ancient form of awareness. It has been used, typically in the Buddhist lifestyle, to clear the conscious, relieve stress, improve thought process, and stimulate productivity. Today, it has been integrated into the addiction treatment field as a tool for recovery: a practice known as Mindfulness Meditation. It has proved to be extremely helpful as patients battle emotional responses and physiological cravings.

We are committed to offering the highest level of care for women, children and their families. What better way than to integrate a practice that teaches self-control, emotional stability, and combats addictive habits through the process of being aware and present! If you wish to learn more about Mindfulness Meditation or New Directions for Women, come join us every Monday evening for ‘Mindfulness Monday’s’.

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