Jada Pinkett Smith’s Life and Sobriety
Hollywood Celebrity, Jada Pinkett Smith, hasn’t always lived a life of glamour and fortune. As a woman of humility, she has kept no secrets about her past, from getting sober and overcoming Alcoholism, to what it was like for her growing up in Baltimore, Maryland.
“The people you love the most will inevitably devastate you. But do not fret. You are simply being given the opportunity to know what it means to truly love. “
– Jada Pinkett Smith, Facebook 2017
Interviewing with ABC News, this American actress openly shares about her childhood and how she felt like she was living in a “war zone” of drug addiction and poverty. As an adult, she developed a drinking problem herself, but has bravely faced her problems. She is in recovery now and living proof of the success possible for every one struggling with addiction.
Today, Pinkett is 45 and a multi-million-dollar actress, well-known for her ability to tackle challenges head-on with grace and confidence.
Young Jada Pinkett Smith
Being raised by her grandmother and drug-addicted mother, Pinkett faced the encumbrance of the world and was forced to grow up quick.
“I grew up in a drug-infested neighborhood where you walk out each day and you just hope that you make it. I came from a war zone… There was a possibility that I wouldn’t make it past 21—that was the reality.
– Jada Pinkett Smith, ABC
Pinkett’s mother became pregnant with her at a young age. When she was born, Pinkett and her mother were living in Baltimore, amidst the Crack-Cocaine epidemic. It wasn’t long before her mother started using drugs and became addicted.
“Oh man, I wonder what I’m going to eat tonight because there’s no food here. How am I going to get to school? And is my mom going to be okay today? Will this be one more day she survives her addiction?’ That’s the kind of stuff I had to think about at 11.”
Of course, children of addicted parents are more likely to experience trauma, develop psychological problems and addictive behaviors themselves. Childhood stress and trauma have been linked to addiction in many studies. It is an awful cycle that can affect the brightest and most talented.
As a teenager, attending Baltimore School of the Arts, Pinkett aspired to be an actress. Her acting career began in 1990 and it wasn’t long before she got her big break. In 1991, Pinkett landed her first major role on a sitcom, A Different World, a Cosby show spin-off. From a young age, Pinkett’s efforts and dreams of becoming an actress jolted her into the spotlight, where she remains to this day.
Jada Pinkett’s 20-Year Sobriety Milestone
Pinkett endured great hardships from her mother’s Alcoholism and drug addiction during childhood. Having neglected the fact that addiction ran in the family, Pinkett never thought to say no to a drink. As time passed, Pinkett began to find herself consuming a significant amount of Alcohol nightly and often did so alone. Eventually, she realized she had a drinking problem and that her abuse of Alcohol had to stop.
“I found myself drinking two bottles of wine on the couch and I said, ‘Jada, I think we’ve got a problem here.’ I had problems with alcohol and I really had to get in contact with the pain, whatever that is, and then I had to get some other tools in how to deal with the pain. From that day on I went cold turkey…”
– Jada Pinkett Smith, Contact Music 2005
In a publicly posted letter to a friend in recovery from Alcohol abuse, Pinkett writes about how she has learned a lot while sober and in recovery.
“I’ve learned that recovery isn’t just for those suffering from substance abuse, but that recovery is about recovering from our traumas, abuse, neglect, abandonment, lack of self-worth, disappointments, failed relationships, the loss of loved ones and so on…”
– Jada Pinkett Smith, Facebook 2014
Of course, she is correct. Addiction doesn’t arise on its own, but it driven by underlying reasons. Trauma, grief, untreated anxiety or depression, low self-esteem, lack of a support system and many other factors are behind addiction. To recovery from Alcoholism or drug abuse, you have to heal from those things and learn to cope with them in your life. Fortunately, Pinkett found the willingness to get sober and took hold of her Alcoholism before it claimed her life.
Reaching an all-time low with Alcohol ignited a passionate fire in Pinkett; resulting in her strong advocacy for recovery ever since. Service and helping others is a key part of recovery for many, and has no doubt helped to reinforce Pinkett’s sobriety. As of 2017, Jada Pinkett Smith marks a 20-year milestone of sobriety from Alcohol.
Will Smith and Jada
Today, Jada Pinkett Smith is in a successful marriage with Hollywood icon, Will Smith. Pinkett met Will when she auditioned for the cast of the hit television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the 90s.
‘Will scooped me up, brushed me off, and said, “There’s a diamond somewhere under here.”’
-Jada Pinkett Smith, Redbook
The couple married in 1997 on New Year’s Eve, where they have had two children, Jaden and Willow Smith.
Over the course of her journey, Pinkett has gained much wisdom and taken on a different perspective of life’s difficulties. When Redbook Magazine asked how she manages to always be so upbeat and optimistic, Pinkett’s response was a direct reflection of her past.
“I’ve been through a lot of pain, and that is not how I want to live my life. I went through a time where there were lots of drugs and alcohol, and really, I was on the brink of death…”
During the interview, Pinkett talks about how she always knew life had something better for her, however she faced uncertainty and a lack of desire to put in the effort.
‘When Will came along, I had a reason…’
Throughout the years, Pinkett transformed the pain and heart-break she experienced as a kid into motivation and a drive to succeed. Despite her troubled childhood, baring witness to the tragedies of the Crack-Cocaine epidemic, Pinkett stands in love and truth. She continues to walk in recovery.
To this day, Pinkett claims that she still battles with the demons of her past, but she has learned to let go of self-defeating resentments. It takes a bold, ruthless woman to accept life’s darkest moments and to heed the valuable lessons that accompany the pain we experience.
Don’t Let Alcoholism Ruin You
If you think you have a drinking problem, or a drug addiction, you don’t have to suffer anymore. It can be a lonely and dark path, but you are not alone. There are many people who have dealt with the same problems who are now living free from Alcohol and drugs. Call (866)578-7471 to hear about the different resources and options available to you.
No one can conquer addiction alone. With a little help, though, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.