In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, we are honouring the lives of five amazing women. Women who despite battling personal demons and the devastating mental health condition of addiction, have come out on top.
With several successful years of sobriety, they are all fantastic examples of recovery and an inspiration to us all.
At 57 Kristin has been sober for over 30 years and is best known for her role on Sex in the City. Kristin began drinking as a teenager whilst trying to cope with her parent’s divorce. She used alcohol to dull her anxiety and her senses. By her 20’s she found her drinking was affecting her burgeoning acting career as she was continually turning up at her acting classes hungover. She realised then she needed to make a choice.
At 22 years old she checked into rehab. Since then, Kristin hasn’t looked back. She landed roles in General Hospital and Melrose Place before getting the iconic role of Charlotte on Sex in the City, and again in its recent reboot, And Just Like That.
Kristin has said in the past that she is aware a relapse is never far away, and needs to be constantly vigilant with her sobriety, remembering it was never just an innocent drink with her, and declaring it is just not worth the risk.
With 23 years in recovery, Jamie has been sober for over two decades. Jamie nursed a secret Vicodin addiction for 10 years after becoming addicted to the painkillers following minor surgery. She is very open about her recovery and names it “the single greatest accomplishment of her life.”
Jamie attended her first recovery meeting after reading the writer, Tom Chiarella, talk about his own battle with the painkiller. Jamie herself is a keen advocate for others suffering from addiction. She says “to call yourself an alcoholic or a drug addict is a badge of honour. It is a way of acknowledging something that is a profound statement and can be, for many people, life-changing.”
British Supermodel Naomi Campbell has always been very honest about her battle with addiction. Starting with a stay in rehab for her issues with cocaine, she then joined the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and was a regular attendee at peer-group meetings because she found she initially replaced the cocaine with alcohol. She has now been clean and sober from both drugs and alcohol for over a decade.
Naomi first tried cocaine when she was just 24 years old. Already an established and very successful model, she says cocaine addiction drove her “to the bottom of the barrel,” and that if she hadn’t stopped, her habit might have killed her.
Naomi credits her friend and singer-songwriter Mary J Blige for getting her to rehab; Mary herself has been sober for several years and is candid about her struggles and her recovery. Naomi said Mary recognised something in her and it made her face the truth, the very next day she checked into rehab.
After seven stays in rehab, Kelly finally kicked her drug habit in 2017. She managed to stay sober for four years until she sadly relapsed in 2021. She explained during an interview that she saw a couple drinking champagne and thought – I can have a glass of that. Within two days she was drinking bottles. Kelly explained that she is a closet drinker – she doesn’t like to drink with people, and for her, that is where it gets really dark and lonely.
Happily, she did manage to sober up again, and in April will celebrate one year. Kelly shares sobriety with her brother Jack, who is 18 years sober (since a 2003 rehab stay) and her father legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who has been sober for seven years. Jack says he stopped drinking when he realised he would never be able to drink like a normal person, and that drugs and alcohol only led to bad things for him.
Kelly says being able to bond with her father and brother in their sobriety has “turned something so ugly into something actually very beautiful.”
Edie Falco, now 58, revealed that she has been sober for almost 30 years. She says she cleaned up after finding herself in a place where she was controlled by her alcoholism. Edie didn’t start drinking until she was in college where she believed she had “found nirvana,” and is quoted as saying “It was the answer to all my problems and the cause of all my other problems.”
Edie drank heavily for several years and then aged 29, after an evening of drinking which resulted in her leaving her front door open all night, Edie realised she had a problem and knew she couldn’t carry on. Edie has said in the past that she used alcohol to compensate for her shyness and lack of confidence and that she would pick her boyfriends based on their drinking habits.
Of her life now she states she never thought she’d be able to live a life without any kind of crutch, and that, never in a million years did she think her life would look the way it does now, to be a mom with two spectacular kids.
Addiction does not recognise class, race, or gender it can grasp hold of anyone, at any time. No one chooses to be an addict or an alcoholic, and there is no single reason why someone becomes one. Whilst addiction chooses its victims indiscriminately there have been some variations noted between the genders, both in their experiences and motivations for use.
• Women are quicker to develop from misuse to addiction.
• Women are more likely to be using drugs or alcohol to manage stress or trauma.
• Women are quicker to suffer serious health complications.
• Women are more likely to abuse drugs to lose weight.
• Women often find it harder to get help for problems with drugs and alcohol misuse.
These observations are all generalisations and any addict seeking treatment needs to be evaluated as an individual. It is however helpful to be able to identify and understand potential differences between the sexes and to be able to consider them when it comes to seeking the best rehab and addiction treatment options available.
When looking at addiction treatment options for yourself, or a partner, child, sibling, or friend – whichever gender, it is worth noting what facilities are available to treat co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and PTSD.
A good rehab centre will have qualified staff on hand to address underlying conditions and look at the reasons behind why someone started or continues to use substances or behaviours as a way of making themselves feel better.
Here at our luxury residential rehab centre, set in 8 acres of private land in the heart of the idyllic Ibiza, Spain, we offer a range of therapies for the treatment of alcoholism, addiction (both substance and process), and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Our highly qualified team of doctors, therapists and counsellors will design for your care a bespoke personalised program, including talk, group, EMDR and equine facilitated therapy, CBT and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
For information on admissions contact [email protected]
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