Mary J. Blige has been through a lot during the span of her career and now she has a testimony.
She’s featured in the newest issue of LA Confidential and left no stone unturned as she dished on her past drug use, including sniffing cocaine at the Grammy’s, and how she used alcohol to cover up the issues that she had within herself.
She blames her drug addiction on being molested when she was just five years old and says she is still reminded of the incident when she smells a certain type of lotion.
She also reveals how she was affected by Whitney Houston’s death and why she never sought out rehab to help her with her drug and alcohol abuse.
Check out a few key excerpts below:
On getting high after the Grammys in 1995
Back then? Shoot. When I got that Grammy (Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group) I was high. Not at the Grammys I don’t think. But I was drinking like a crazy person. Still sniffing cocaine going in…
On all the things that led to that point
That’s it. Life. You start from day one. And what we spoke about earlier—when I was 5 years old. That dark moment. That one dark moment. It only happened once, but after that there was so much else in my childhood that happened. So many dark moments—which all added up and that’s what sprung on the drug addiction, trying to numb it all with the drugs. The depression. The lack of love for myself. The lack of people loving you around you. The abandonment issues. Daddy not being there all the time. Mommy not knowing how to handle it all. Although she loves you, she abandons you at some point too. I’m not saying that to be down on my mom. She was just a cursed woman as well. There have been so many other dark moments that I can’t even talk about. I have given the world so much and even in the middle of all that stuff there has been so much ish going on. It was all those tributaries that gave me such deep soul. But it is those same things that now have taught me how to be strong. In the past those were the same things that were killing me. But I made it out. I made it out.
On how Whitney Houston’s death affected her
What I did was I chose to learn how to drink socially and it didn’t work. The test comes when you have to decide whether you’re drinking to be social or drinking to cover up something again. To cover up depression. To cover up guilt. Shame. Abandonment. All of that, man. Once I realized, “There you go again,” I had to stop. Whitney Houston’s death really affected me. Her death is another reason I stopped. I really do think I’m done. I looked at how that woman could not perform anymore.
On being molested at the age of 5
I was 5. Mmmm … yes. I was 5. I don’t want to go into the details. It’s something that hurt me really bad. I’m still the same way. When I open up to trust you, I trust you wholeheartedly. And then when you betray that trust, it closes me up.
The quiet. I always think about how quiet it all was. It was abnormally quiet. It was just quiet. And there are certain smells that… mmmm… well… someone was using this lotion on their hands an hour or so ago. I smelled this lotion and I had such a flashback about it all. It’s weird that we’d be talking about all this right now after me just having that flashback.”
On why she chose not to go to rehab
I don’t know why. But I didn’t want to go to rehab. I believe that anything man himself can do for me, God can do for me in a greater way. I decided to pray and to seek God on my own. I just stayed in The Word. And it worked.”
I loved God, but I didn’t love myself. When I would get really, really high and the daytime would come, I would feel like God was watching me. And that’s when I’d start to go into this panic thing. I remember one night I was soooooo high. And as I was trying to go to sleep there was this dream… mmmmm…. Gosh, man, I don’t know if I should be telling you all of this. But let me put it this way. I believe in God so much that I would not let the enemy win my soul. You know what I’m sayin’? God loves me no matter what. He loves me high. Sober. Gay. Straight. I can’t let the world tell me anything different. That’s how I survived, knowing He loved me no matter what. Because if I don’t believe that God loves me when I do wrong, I’m dead.
On learning to love and accept herself all over again
I have. Just lately I have been saying that to myself a lot. ‘I forgive you, Mary. I forgive you.’ I’ve been saying that to myself out loud. I’ve been praying to God to show me how to forgive myself. Because… maybe… that’s the thing I’ve been searching for.
There was a point in the interview when the interviewer said, “I know we’ve talked a lot about God today. But I do have a pet peeve about these awards shows like the Grammys when folks get up and thank God for their wins. I think God has a lot more on Her plate than to worry about who’s going to win a damn Grammy award.”
First I couldn’t believe what I just read, but Mary answered it with grace:
I think we have got to give God the glory. That’s just me. It’s not a cliché for me.
Mary J Blige and Angela Bassett in “Betty And Coretta” is Premiering February 2 on Lifetime!