Kesha Pens Moving Letter to Younger Self: 'There Is Light and Beauty After the Storm'
Kesha continues to work through her past struggles with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders
Kesha continues to work through her past struggles with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The Rainbow singer appeared on Thursday’s CBS This Morning to read a letter she penned to her 18-year-old self, warning her of the difficult times ahead but also commemorating the hope that comes “after the storm.”
“Dear Kesha, At this very moment you may be wondering whether it was really a good idea to drop out of high school,” she begins. “I moved to L.A. with nothing but your grandpa’s Lincoln Town Car and a demo tape. I’ve got good news — and I’ve got bad news — and I know you’re a tad impatient, so I’ll start with the good news: You made it! And thank God because the best plan B we ever came up with was waitressing, and as you will soon find out, that was not really our forte.
“The bad news,” she continues, “is you nearly killed yourself on the road to success, fueled by fear of failure, crippling anxiety, and insecurity. You will become severely bulimic and anorexic — and the worse your disease gets the more praise you will get from some people in your industry, and this will really, really mess with your head. But when you are trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation, it’s never gonna be good enough no matter what you do.”
Kesha entered treatment for her eating disorders in March 2014. In a message published on Teen Vogue earlier this year, she called it a “vicious cycle” wrapped up in online “body-shaming and baseless slut-shaming.” She now advises her younger self to skip reading Internet comments altogether and “save yourself from anxiety and a few years’ worth of therapy.”
“Don’t let people scare and shame you into changing the things about yourself that make you unique and interesting,” she adds. “Those are the qualities that will make your life so magical. That bad girl, ‘I don’t give a s—’ attitude, that’ll work for a while and you will get a dollar sign tattooed on yourself that will last forever, probably. But the truth is, you don’t need to put on an act. You can just be Kesha Rose Sebert. And guess what? Apparently that’s good enough.”
In promoting Rainbow, her first album in nearly five years, Kesha explained how the music “quite literally” saved her life. Through songs like “Praying” and “Learn to Let Go,” the 30-year-old performer references music producer Dr. Luke, whom she accused of physically, emotionally, and sexually abusing her during their working relationship. Luke continues to deny these allegations throughout their on-going legal battles, but Kesha is trying to move on with her life, as she sings in her new anthem “Woman.”
Rainbow, despite leaking online, will now drop on Friday, Aug. 11.
“You must be strong because over time you will gain confidence and people will learn that words and art do matter,” Kesha concludes in her letter. She notes, “One day, you’re gonna write a song called ‘Rainbow’ and you’re gonna be really proud of it because there is light and beauty after the storm no matter how hard things get. you’re gonna write this song to remember to make it through and you’re gonna remind yourself to love yourself and if you have truth in your heart there will always be a rainbow at the end of the storm.”
This article originally appeared on Ew.com