Lily Allen Opens Up About Sobriety, Past Addiction: I'm in the 'Process of Breaking That Cycle'

"I felt so guilty about neglecting my kids in those early years of their life and having to go off on tour and misbehave in the way that I was," she said. "I really have a great relationship with my kids now"

lily alllen
Lily Allen. Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/WireImage

Lily Allen is looking back at a dark time in her life.

On Wednesday's episode of podcast The Recovery, the British singer opened up about her nearly lifelong battle with addiction and her journey to sobriety.

The "Smile" singer revealed that her addiction began at a young age when she became "co-dependent" on alcohol while attending school.

"I started getting my value from attention of others and that is something that has played out until relatively recently really," she said on the podcast.

"All I wanted was affirmation and praise and I didn't even really get it then. I got it from strangers, but I didn't really get it from the people I wanted it from," Allen added, referring to her music career soon after dropping out of school. "In fact, I was kind of met with a bit of resentment from those people. Taking responsibility for my own actions, you know, I definitely like buried my head in drugs and alcohol, but I was really sad."

The singer went on to say that she spent some time feeling "worthless" while living with several addicts. At 24, she married her first husband Sam Cooper, with whom she shares daughters Ethel, 9, and Marnie, 8.

"I was 14-stone [196 lbs.] and just did not feel like a pop star at all," she said, adding that she needed to go back on tour because she and her husband were running out of money. "So, I started taking this drug called Adderall, which is like speed, to lose weight. And then I got addicted to this drug because it made me invincible and I could work really long hours and be all the different people that I was required to be at the time."

During that time, Allen went on tour to support Miley Cyrus' Bangerz tour — something that added fuel to the fire of her addiction.

lily allen
Lily Allen. Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

"It was a very highly sexualized tour and I had just spent the last three years pushing babies out," she said. "It couldn't have been less what I felt like. And also, I'd never ever supported someone. So, I was sort of like re-entering this phase of being a pop star again but not doing it on my terms anymore. I was supporting this girl who was much younger and more attractive than I felt and I just started out in [many] ways."

Allen said she started cheating on her husband during the tour and drinking again.

"I remember being in LA and thinking like, 'None of this acting out is working anymore. Maybe I should try heroin,'" she said, before adding. "I'd been in a scene... and knew that when that thought popped into my head it was time to confront my demons. That was about five years ago. And I started recovery."

She then "got clean" after going to a program but six months later, Allen started to drink again and she "lost everything."

"I lost my marriage. I lost my house I worked for 10 years to buy. My career started sinking. I lost all my friends. I was so resentful. So angry all the time. Really felt like the world owed me stuff," she said. "That went on for another four years."

Today, she's sober again and is glad to leave her addictions behind to build a happy relationship with her children.

"I'm in the process of breaking that cycle. I felt so guilty about neglecting my kids in those early years of their life and having to go off on tour and misbehave in the way that I was. I really have a great relationship with my kids now," she said. "I'm there to pick them up at the school gates whenever I can be. I'm dropping them off in the morning, and I'll make them dinner, and they'll come to me when they've got problems, and that's golden to me."

"They're confident little girls," she added. "They're not going to turn into drug addicts like I did. They're on a good path."

And, she also has her new husband David Harbour, whom she married in September, to support her.

"I'm in a really happy and healthy relationship. He's sober, has been sober for 20 years now," she added. "We're thinking about what we're going to do with the rest of our lives... I don't have as much as I had then in terms of success and wealth, but I have success and health in my mind, which is more valuable I think."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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