Angelina Jolie: Life and her struggles
Angelina Jolie struggled with insomnia, an eating disorder, and drug addiction by the age of 20. This further led to depression and failed suicide attempts. But times changed and she is now Hollywood’s highest paid actress (2009-2011), filmmaker, humanitarian and a teacher. As a public figure, she is cited as the most influential and powerful people in American entertainment industry.
The mother of six has starred in well-loved movies like Mr and Mrs Smith, By the sea, Maleficient, Salt, A mighty heart and much more.
Jolie became popular after playing the title role in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. She also received an academy award, three golden globe awards and two screen actors guild awards for her work in the industry. Further, she was also given “Citizen of the world” award by US correspondents association and went on to receive the Global Humanitarian Award in 2005.
Angelina was born in Los Angeles, California on June 4, 1975. Her parents, Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand are famous actors. A year after she was born, her parents got divorced. As a teenager, she found it difficult to connect with others. Further, as she was not a people person, she had a difficult time expressing her emotions and found a display of emotions, like crying, awkward. As a result, she even self-harmed.
“For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, was somehow therapeutic to me.”
She also struggled with anorexia when she was was a teenager but it didn’t last too long. But in the 90’s she did suffer from depression. She said that living in California, growing up in LA with a successful career at an early age, made her feel empty. Also, she had a dysfunctional relationship with her father and was not so emotionally stable.
She even tried to commit suicide twice, first at the age of 19 then at 22, when she attempted to hire a hitman to kill her. Again after when she was 24, she had a nervous breakdown, because of which she was admitted to a psychiatric ward for 72 hours.
Turning point in life
Once she travelled Cambodia for filming. There for the first time, she became aware of various problems faced by people all over the world. Visiting a war ravaged country opened her eyes. She adopted her first child after that. In 2002, Angelina adopted Maddox Chivan from a Cambodian orphanage.
“I knew once I committed to Maddox I will never be self-destructive again.”
All the self-destructive feeling and the sense of guilt was gone after being a humanitarian. It also helped her with her feeling of emptiness and gave a purpose to her life.
Furthermore, her fight against cancer made her stronger. She underwent a double mastectomy (removal of the whole breast) in 2013 and oophorectomy in 2015. She revealed in an interview that she has a defective breast cancer gene. That puts her in at high risk for developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer since her mother died of breast and ovarian cancer in 2007. It was a very bold step which inspired many women across the globe.
There is a turning point in every person’s life. It can either make us or break us. It depends on us what path we choose. Angelina gave her life a new start and now she is inspiring and motivating others all around the globe.
We should not give up on life so easily. Angelina faced many problems emotionally, mentally and physically from a very small age but she never lost hope. Instead, she gave herself a reason to go on and make this world a better place. You don’t have to be ashamed of who you are. Because you are stronger than you think!
Edited by Preetika Dubey