Queen Latifah is adored by legions of loyal fans, and for no shortage of good reason. She takes of a multitude of roles, switching seamlessly between Grammy winning performer, actress, hip hop artist, talk show host, and a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. However, when she’s not busy dominating the red carpet and wowing audiences with fantastic performances on film and in concert, Queen Latifah goes by Dana, and just like Lorde’s hit song would imply, she’s anything but a royal.
In a revealing interview with Good Housekeeping magazine, Dana delved into her use of alcohol as a coping mechanism after a tragic string of incidents in her life. In the span of just a few years, she was faced with the death of her brother, Lancelot Jr., as well as being the victim of a violent carjacking incident, where her friend, a passenger in the car, was shot and almost killed. Dana recalls these years as a dark time, and in an effort to cope, she turned to the bottle. She recalled “Drinking a bunch of alcohol, numbing myself. Every day I would be faded, like a painting that’s just not vibrant, whose edges are dull. I wasn’t living my full life.”
Dana has rose from this dark period of her life, however, through strength she finds in her faith, as well as her own sense of internal strength. She relies on “accentuating the positive and eliminating as much negative as possible,” which, she admits, is not always an easy task. Dana went on to say, “I think I got to that place by not being happy with the other side — hating your body and criticizing yourself all the time. When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, You’re either going to love yourself or hate yourself. And I decided to love myself. That changed a lot of things.” Dana has stuck by that decision, and it has gotten her through tough times and darkness so that she can emerge an even better person.
Dana has retired from her self-medicating with alcohol, and has turned once again to her faith as a well of inspiration and strength. She has also received therapy since confronting the issues in her past, and is continuously working on improving her mindset and moving towards healing. Dana’s story is truly a heartwarming one, and this writer hopes that it might bring strength and inspiration to others who may be struggling.
[Image courtesy of Queen Latifah’s official Twitter.]