“Celebrity Recovery” is a four-part series featured during National Recovery Month recalling the celebrities who have survived addiction and continue to be in recovery today.
Celebrity rehab and recovery has led strong women like Fergie to redefine the meaning of MILF—mother I’d like to follow—as she does in her latest single “M.I.L.F.$.”
Proudly having the clean time of about 13 years, this independent pop singer is one of the many female drug addicts who made it out of active addiction alive. To think, a little over a decade ago, this pop star was broke, unemployed, and heavily addicted to meth.
Child Stardom and an Orchid Gone Wild
A straight-A, cheerleading, ex-girl scout with a passion for singing and a need for escape: clearly addiction does not discriminate. California-bred, Catholic school alumna Stacy Ann Ferguson (Fergie) grew up as one of the many child stars who felt she had to repress her natural emotions in order to be “professional.”
As a child, the future pop star studied dance and began to do voiceover work, playing Sally in the made-for-TV Peanuts cartoons. In the 1980s, she also acted and sung in the show Kids Incorporated, which was later picked up by Disney Channel. For six seasons, Fergie was not free to be a child, once recalling to the London Times how she was taught “not to have tantrums, to always people-please.”
During her time with Wild Orchid, a three-girl pop group, Fergie mentioned in Oprah’s Next Chapter that she was “feeling inauthentic and [it] wasn’t really the style that I felt that I wanted to go for…I wasn’t being myself.”
During her time with the group, Fergie did not know how to get honest with everyone involved in the works of Wild Orchid about how uncomfortable she felt working on music that was not authentic to her identity as an artist. “I really internalized it and found my outlet in the underground club scene and the raves.”
Such insecurities and a fear of confrontation led the singer to try ecstasy.
Psychosis and a Church
“It started with ecstasy. I loved ecstasy. Loved it, loved it. It was great at first, then it just went,” said Fergie in the London Times. Just as with any drug, it was fun in the beginning for the pop artist, but it slowly began to “spiral down.”
During the year that Fergie dove into the world of drugs, she graduated to meth. This highly addictive upper can cause severe brain damage, organ failure, stroke, open sores, rotting teeth (meth mouth), paranoia, mania, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors, according to the Meth Project.
It only took one year of drug use for the singer to reap the painful effects of drug addiction.
During her rock bottom, Fergie’s paranoia was alive and kicking, leading her to black out her windows in her house in order to protect her from spies. Not only did she believe that the FBI and SWAT were after her, but she also compulsively and manically engaged in such insanity as having an eight-hour conversation with her hamper.
She was 90 pounds, unemployed, and broke because all her money had gone to drugs. She wasn’t talking to friends or family. She was hearing voices. She thought people were after her.
Fergie experienced the dangerous lifestyle that is often involved with drugs, once having a gun pointed to her head by a drug dealer as she tried to buy marijuana in a bad neighborhood in LA.
The insanity continued for the singer as she went inside a church and, once again, thought that the FBI was outside of the church coming after her. In that moment, Fergie decided to have a conversation with God, to whom she made a promise that if she went outside and the FBI was not there, then that was it. No more meth. No more drugs.
After the church eventually kicked her out, there was no SWAT team and no FBI surveillance outside. “I kept my promise that day,” Fergie told Oprah. “I was actually lucky I went crazy because that made me stop.”
Break Up and Break Free
“It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with,” Fergie told People Magazine. “I dug deep as to why I got there. It’s the drug that’s addicting. But it’s why you start doing it in the first place that’s interesting. A lot of it was being a child actor; I learned to suppress my feelings.”
Like any other addict in recovery, Fergie sought out help in order to truly get to the bottom of her addiction, but it was not easy.
“What got me through it was a lot of therapy, soul searching, [and] discovering why I took the drugs in the first place, because that’s really what it is.”
Ultimately, hypnotherapy helped her to relax and therapy itself helped her to get to the obsessive and compulsive root of her addiction: investing in insecurities as a means of identity. For many addicts, the root of their disease of addiction is fear; an intense feeling of a need to get out of one’s self by using vices to deal with the fact that self-love is lacking.
The solution? Constant self-care and self-love efforts.
Today, Fergie invests her time into performing, promoting female independence, and her work for breast cancer awareness and AIDS research. As for discussion on addiction awareness, Fergie has stated in Us Magazine that “[my] publicists get really mad with [me] for talking about [my addiction], but I don’t care. For me it’s something I went through. It’s an epidemic, and it’s important to talk about it because it’s a very, very hard thing to stop.”
Learn from Fergie Past Addiction–Get Treatment Now
Here at Citrus Recovery, we have addiction specialists who are ready 24-7 and willing to help anyone with this terrible disease. If you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction problem, call (844) 318-0072 for a consultation today.