With the shocking deaths of famous multimillionaire entrepreneurs Kade Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both whom committed suicide within days of one another and sent tremors reverberating around the globe, the issue of mental health is at the top of America’s consciousness.
Spade’s and Bourdain’s deaths inspired Jada Pinkett Smith to open up about her past mental health struggles and how she contemplated suicide multiple times in her life.
“One thing I’ve learned in my life over the years is that mental health is something we should practice daily, not just when issues arise,” she wrote on a photo on Instagram of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.
“We should take care of our mind and spirit in the same way we do our body. With the suicides of Kate and Anthony it brought up feelings of when I was in such despair and had considered the same demise … often. In the years I spent towards my healing, many moons ago, I realized the mind and heart can be extremely delicate without the foundation of a formidable spirit,” the Set it Off and Girls Trip actress added.
“What I eat, what I watch on TV, what music I listen to, how I care for my body, my spiritual practice, what people I surround myself with, the amount of stress I allow and so on … either contribute to or deteriorate my mental health. Mental health is a daily practice for me. It’s a practice of deep self-love. May Kate and Anthony Rest In Peace. Many may not understand … but I do, and this morning I have the deepest gratitude that I pulled through.”
Pinkett Smith continues, “In the years I spent towards my healing, many moons ago, I realized the mind and heart can be extremely delicate without the foundation of a formidable spirit. What I eat, what I watch on TV, what music I listen to, how I care for my body, my spiritual practice, what people I surround myself with, the amount of stress I allow and so on … either contribute to or deteriorate my mental health.”
The woman who first skyrocketed to urban fame via the cult classic Menace II Society and the sitcom “A Diff’rent World” says mental health is a “daily practice.”
“It’s a practice of deep self-love,” she shares alongside photos of Bourdain and Spade. “May Kate and Anthony Rest In Peace. Many may not understand… but I do, and this morning I have the deepest gratitude that I pulled through.”
The actress said the bad days were not so long ago. When she turned 40, Pinkett Smith called the age “surreal,” saying she didn’t think she’d make it past 21 because she grew up in a “drug-infested… war zone.”
Two years later, she reflected on how she struggled with addictions and how she aquired the emotional tools necessary to cope with her issues.
“What I learned about myself is this, when I was younger I was not a good problem solver, meaning I had a very difficult time with dealing with my problems in life,” she wrote in a Facebook post four years ago. “I had many addictions, of several kinds, to deal with my life issues, but today, at 42, I have my wisdom, my heart and my conscience as the only tools to overcome life’s inevitable obstacles. I have become a good problem solver with those tools, and I am damn proud.”
She added, “What I hope is that we all continue to gain healthy understanding that life is really about … solving problems, and also about us learning to become masters at solving them.”
Pinkett Smith who doesn’t shy away from controversial topics discussed with her 17-year-old daughter Willow Smith about her mental state. After the success of her 2010 single “Whip My Hair,” Willow also said she degenerated emotionally to a sunken place.
“And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music, and it was just so crazy and I was just like plunged into this black hole, and I was, like, cutting myself … and doing crazy things,” Willow said, which shocked her own mother.
“When were you cutting yourself? … Cutting yourself where?” Jada asked on the critically-acclaimed “Red Table Talk” show on Facebook Watch.
“On my wrist. I mean, you can’t even see it, but there’s still a little something there, but like, I totally lost my sanity for a moment there. … I never talk about it because it was such a short weird point in my life, but you have to pull yourself … out of it,” Willow said. “I honestly felt like I was experiencing so much emotional pain, but my physical circumstances weren’t reflecting that.”
Both Willow and Jada have been lauded for their candor on these important topics.