Sia’s struggles with addiction
Sia is an anomaly in today’s music industry. Hiding her face with wigs, hats, and over-sized bows, she has an anonymity few in the business can claim. But though she hides her face and private life from the public, she’s always been very open about her sobriety.
Sia is known today for her strong, unique vocals and her avoidance of the media. However, if her plans had gone through in 2010, we wouldn’t have songs such as Chandelier and Elastic Heart on our radios.
Diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and put on a medicine regiment to help treat it, Sia quickly became dependent on and started abusing Xanax and OxyContin. As her fame grew, so did her stress, and alcohol crept its way into the mix as she started dealing with the pressures of being in the spotlight.
In September 2010, after her boyfriend had been killed in a tragic accident, Sia hit her ultimate low, culminating in her planning out her own death. She had gone so far as to write a note when a close friend called, stopping the attempt and prompting Sia to seek out help.
“There was a small voice [in me] that wanted to live,” Sia later said about the experience, “And the only thing I knew how to do was to call someone who was also in the program, and then I just did what I was told and I’m still sober now, so I am really grateful. I’d look at other people and think, ‘They look fine and happy; they even have families and have kids, how do they do it? They seem to be enjoying this ride called life.’”
Now five years sober, she celebrates her recovery every day. She notes that she has recieved help for addiction through the rooms of 12 Step programs like AA and NA. Sia is typically a very private person, but 12 Step program emphasize sharing their experience, strength, and hope with others so that they may find recovery too. Sia has been outspoken about her addiction and recovery because she wants to point people to 12-Step programs that have helped her overcome her addiction.
Striking the Right Chord
Getting back into the music industry after finding recovery, Sia knew something had to change. Focusing on her songwriting rather than her singing, she began writing songs for artists such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Flo Rida, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and many more. Her songs are known for being authentic, relatable, and soulful.
Fast forward to 2014 and her album 1000 Forms of Fear, where the world was introduced to the song Chandelier, which Sia has said is about her struggle with alcoholism. Her powerful lyrics, coupled with the music video of a little girl dancing in a dilapidated house, sky-rocketed her into fame as a solo artist.
Dealing with Fame in Recovery
So how does someone in recovery deal with the fame that had previously added so much stress to her life without going back to old habits? Charity work, hiding her face from the public eye, and her faith in her own personal higher power, “Whatever Dude”, are all part of her recovery.
From someone who felt so hopeless she was willing to take her own life to one of the most well-known and influential pop stars of our day, Sia shows us all that no matter how far you feel you have gone, you have not gone beyond the reach of help. Her story is truly one of hope, rebirth, and inspiration for all.
“5 years sober today. If you’re newly sober, keep at it, it gets so so awesome. YOU CAN DO IT.”