In the months since she entered rehab to treat bulimia, Kesha‘s gone through a decidedly drastic transformation. She dropped the dollar sign, she changed her Twitter handle from to the self-deprecating @keshasuxx to @kesharose, and her recent Teen Vogue cover was shocking for how unshocking it was.
And in what seems to be an effort to fully scrap that Jack Daniels-swigging image, she’s opening up about who she really is in a sober essay in Elle U.K..
“Sure, I’ve written songs about partying, but my dirty little secret is that I’m actually incredibly responsible. I take my music and career very seriously, and certainly didn’t land in this situation from partying,” she wrote. “But I was cut off from the outside world and I imagined people making up stories at a time when what I really needed was support.”
In the essay, a copy of which can be found on ATRL, Kesha Sebert remembers the cold day in January that her mom drove her to Timberline Knolls, the tribulations that brought her there, and how her two-month “alone time” made her more comfortable with who she really is.
“I’ve always tried to be a crusader for loving yourself, but I’d been finding it harder and harder to do personally,” she wrote of her eating disorder, which escalated after a particularly busy 2013. “I felt like part of my job was to be as skinny as possible, and to make that happen, I had been abusing my body. I just wasn’t giving it the energy it needed to keep me healthy and strong.”
She goes on to explain that she “wasn’t always this way,” and talks extensively about being bullied growing up, saying “at home, my mom told me not to worry about what other kids thought and to be proud of myself, but that’s easier said than done.”
That insecurity, she said, is what lied at the center of her crazy – and at the core, untrue – “party girl” image.
“If someone called me pretty, I’d sneer and smear more glitter on my face. I didn’t want to be just pretty — I was wild, crazy and free. I talked about sex, about drinking,” she wrote. “I played confident but still felt like an outcast. The music industry has set unrealistic expectations for what a body is supposed to look like, and I started becoming overly critical of my own body because of that.”
And even though she wrote anthems for individuality like “We R Who We R” and “Warrior,” there came a point when “those words didn’t ring true to me anymore…. I felt like a liar, telling people to love themselves as they are, while I was being hateful to myself and really hurting my body.”
But with her two-month stay at the Chicago facility, she says she began to feel “a shift” and “understand my own self worth. ”
“I’m not fully fixed – I am a person in progress, but I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” she said. “Even I need to be reminded that we are who we are. And when I say that, I f–king mean it, now more than ever.”