In a recent article in Vogue, Florence Welch, frontwoman of Florence + the Machine, has opened up and reflected about her battle with alcoholism and an eating disorder. She had been sober and recovering for 5 years now, and shared her story to provide comfort to others facing similar problems.
Welch’s recollection begins when recounting her 27th birthday party, where her mother gave a speech. Welch’s mother pleaded that her friends keep her alive and out of the “27 Club.” The 27 Club being a cultural myth connecting the deaths of celebrities who died of addiction related causes at age 27. (The club is fictitious and the rumor wasn’t raising awareness about drug and alcohol issues, but was more of a conspiracy that young artists would try and die at 27 to make the “club.”) Welch says that she became sober several months after this party. When thinking back to her 20’s Welch describes them as being filled with “terror and nostalgia.” She says she looks back in “awe” at “that girl, her total lack of self-preservation…no care of consequences.” Yet Welch doesn’t hold her past self in contempt, as she also reflects that she wishes she could hug her past self and tell her that everything will be “OK.”
While Welch shares that she isn’t sure of the exact root of what led her to drinking and an eating disorder, she does note that she felt “not good enough and was angry at herself”, at some point.
As Welch continues to move forward in sobriety, we can take a few notes from her on looking at the past. She gives her past self grace and love (as odd as that might sound). But looking at ourselves with care and love can have a positive impact. The anger we can habor for ourselves can sometimes feed the addiction, and certainly feed negative thoughts. Forgiving ourselves is one of the hardest things we can do.
Let’s celebrate Welch’s recovery and be reminded that none of us are alone in our battles.