2020 was a hard year for everyone. For those dealing with substance abuse, it was extra challenging. Kelly Osbourne may be a celebrity, but the rich and famous are no exception to the rule. Quarantine life was hard, especially for people coping with addiction. Many saw their hard-won sobriety crumbling. Kelly recently spoke to Dax Shepard on his podcast, Armchair Expert. She told him about struggling to stay sober during a pandemic.
Kelly Osbourne did not have a typical childhood
Kelly never had a shot at a normal childhood. Her dad was famous rocker Ozzy Osbourne. He was infamous for his crazy antics on stage, but Kelly herself wasn’t in the public eye until later. When her dad signed his family up for a reality show, Kelly was shoved into the spotlight. The Osbournes featured Kelly and her family navigating life with their somewhat idiosyncratic dad.
Although he was able to achieve sobriety, Ozzy Osbourne once struggled with a drug and alcohol addiction. His first marriage ended due to those struggles. Before his marriage to Sharon, Ozzy was married to another woman. He had two biological children with his first wife but claims he doesn’t even remember their births. Kelly, unfortunately, followed in her father’s footsteps when it came to substance abuse. She battled addiction, and was able to achieve sobriety and even help others do the same.
Drugs and alcohol almost ruined Kelly Osbourne’s life
Kelly got into partying at a young age. Her dad’s fame may have exposed her to some dangerous crowds. At 16, Kelly claims she began drinking and abusing prescription medication. Eventually, she was taking up to six pills a day. Kelly told 310 Recovery that the pills helped her deal with her depression. The drugs helped Kelly cope in social situations. “I’m having fun, I’m not getting picked on. It became a confidence thing.”
Kelly describes trying to die by suicide with an overdose. She would take as many pills as she could and go to sleep, hoping to not wake up again. Luckily, Kelly realized that she would die without help. At age 24, Kelly signed in to rehab. She was able to develop coping mechanisms, saying, “I manage pain through creativity, friendship, and self-care. The crazier my life gets, the more focused I become on the things that make me feel good.” It wasn’t an easy road, but she was doing well up until the pandemic hit.
Quarantine threw a wrench in Kelly Osbourne’s sobriety
For Kelly, staying sober means going to meetings. According to her discussion with Shepard, the social aspect of Alcoholics Anonymous is what drew her in, and kept her going. Kelly thrived on helping others maintain their sobriety. Knowing she could make a difference meant more to her than other parts of the program. When the pandemic hit, her meetings went online. She immediately lost the social part of AA that had been helpful to her.
“I started to do the online meetings; I didn’t like them. I’ll be really straightforward in a sense, like, I didn’t want to watch you f*cking lift weights and sexy-face pout into a goddamn Zoom camera. We’re addicts. We have the biggest f*cking self-doubt slash egos … That’s why we’re insane. The best part about going to an AA meeting is you don’t have to look at your f*cking self …”
Then, her friends and fellow meeting goers began dropping off the wagon one by one. Kelly was able to stay strong, even watching as others couldn’t. But eventually, her old habits got the better of her. One glass of champagne turned into a full-fledged relapse.
Kelly found herself “… covered in ranch dressing by my friend’s pool, sunburned, looking like a piece of sh*t that I was like, ‘Maybe I don’t have this under control.’” Her partner eventually told her enough was enough. That was the final push Kelly needed to get sober again, and she’s been doing well ever since.
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