Celebrities seem to have it made, even in times of sorrow, because… Well, they’re celebrities!
There’s plenty of money to travel/party/spa their cares away, they’ve got trainers to keep them motivated at the gym and housekeepers to keep the place tidy while they’re in a funk, they more often than not have a jam-packed shooting schedule or a promo tour to keep them busy and, best of all, since they’re always on the go, there are countless opportunities to meet people. And not just “people”—other celebrities.
Sounds pretty divine, doesn’t it?
Well, yes, it’s supposed to. And for most people, life doesn’t resemble that scenario in the slightest.
But lest you worry that there’s something wrong with you if nothing can rouse you from your own fortress of breakup sorrow, rest assured that stars are people too and, even if it looks like they’ve emerged unscathed, none the worse for heartbreak, most of them fell down the rabbit hole of sadness first.
Yes, some of those aforementioned perks would seemingly soften the blow, but…think about how appealing having fun or going to work sounded to you last time you weathered a breakup.
Miranda Kerris the latest to remind us that the end of a relationship can leave anyone, regardless of Victoria’s Secret Angel status, in a world of hurt. After her 2013 split from Orlando Bloom, which of course on the surface looked amiable and photogenic (because that’s what the surface is there for), Kerr “fell into a really bad depression,” she admits in the latest issue of Elle Canada.
“I never understood the depth of that feeling or the reality of that because I was naturally a very happy person,” Kerr continues, hitting the nail on the head for so many who end up both mourning the end of the relationship and wondering what happened to that “happy person” they’re used to being, all the while being hard on themselves for being so upset in the first place.
Sure, all that “it happened for the best” wisdom is true, but it takes an indeterminable amount of time to actually believe it.
Kerr said she ultimately realized that “every thought you have affects your reality and only you have control of your mind” (which is why self-flagellation is such an exhausting pastime). And in the end she determined that “all of the answers are deep inside of you.”
That’s true, too, though they’re often hiding under piles of emotional baggage.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s easy enough for Kerr to open up now, three years after her marriage ended and a few months after getting engaged to Evan Spiegel, the 26-year-old billionaire founder of Snapchat. (See aforementioned celeb perks.)
But that doesn’t mean Kerr didn’t struggle for far longer than anyone, new boyfriend included, could ever possibly have known. Time helps the healing process, but falling in love again is what really cauterizes that wound.
Yet it isn’t necessarily easy to get yourself back in that mindset, even when Prince Charming himself comes calling. “You can’t close yourself off from love,” Kerr mused in The Edit toward the beginning of 2016. “I try to keep my heart open and not feel afraid.”
P.S. Your post-split fear is common, too.
Orlando Bloom, who’s now dating Katy Perry, admitted as well in 2014 to having gone through “a period of feeling a little rudderless” after the separation. And though he hasn’t publicly delved into his feelings quite as much as Kerr, the breakup blues are hardly unique to women.
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For instance, Gwyneth Paltrowmaintained an inspirationally positive front following the end of her 10-year marriage to Chris Martinin 2014, alerting the world to the prospect of “conscious uncoupling” and otherwise seizing the silver lining. In fact, her comments about her relationship with Martin after the split sure made their separation sound a lot easier than their marriage.
Martin, meanwhile, revealed in March that he spent a year mired in depression and would “still wake up down a lot of days.” Coldplay‘s 2015 album A Head Full of Dreams served as a sort of reemergence into happiness for the singer, who told the U.K.’s Sunday Times, “You can come at it very aggressively and blame and blame. Or you can put yourself in the garage, so to speak. Take yourself apart and clean off the bits. Reassemble.”
That being said, Martin added, “I have a very wonderful separation-divorce. It’s a divorce but it’s a weird one.”
Still, even if your divorce is strangely wonderful, that doesn’t necessarily prevent you from feeling like crap about it.
Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection was peppered with songs about her divorce from Russell Brandafter a relatively whirlwind marriage.
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“Part of Me” and “Wide Awake” were fabulously unsubtle, and Perry followed up with Prism, written as she was making her way out of a very dark place. The song “Ghost” mentions Brand’s infamous text and “By the Grace of God” is Perry having survived some of her more self-destructive thoughts.
“You always feel like you’re the only one going through that,” Perry recalled the process on The Project in 2014. “Well, then comes along a song that speaks to you, that makes you feel like, ‘gosh, I can get through this. If she can get through this, I can get through this.'”
Though celebrities getting real about relationships can only do so much, Perry still said it all when she said that people always feel alone when they’ve had their hearts broken. It takes time to get to arrive at the place where you know and truly feel that you’re not alone, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to hear that one of the biggest pop stars around gets it.
And the same goes for learning that the likes of Chris Martin and Miranda Kerr didn’t really bounce back in record time from despair, even if they were making music or walking runways all the while.
It isn’t always easy to admit that something is plaguing us more than we think it should be, and often times a breakup falls into that self-imposed category of why-can’t-I-just-get-over-this frivolity. It can sometimes seem like a less worthwhile affliction, when there are so many other ills in the world.
But if it seems like more and more celebrities these days are coming forward about depression and anxiety, whether triggered by a traumatic experience or as something they’ve dealt with their whole lives, it’s because they are—and for a very important reason.
It’s become apparent that the more depression is talked about as a commonplace experience, one that can plague almost anybody, then the more information will be out there and the more people will be aware that they’re part of a much bigger community. Adele, Cara Delevingne, Rachel Bloom and Zayn Malikare just a tiny sampling of stars who’ve discussed their own experiences recently, each of them guaranteeing that more people will be aware of the very long and indiscriminate reach that depression can have.
In the best cases, the sadness is temporary, but for anyone it can reach new levels on any given day, for a specific reason or for no apparent reason at all. That’s why celebs who share are indeed doing a service, because no matter how not particularly relatable the other aspects of their lives might be, tales of suffering are going to apply to everybody at some point. There’s no shame in admitting that you’re sad. And it’s always important to remember you’re not alone.