Miley Cyrus Says Her Family's History Influenced Her to Stay Sober
By Paige Gawley
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Miley Cyrus is opening up about her decision to get sober. The 27-year-old singer appeared on Variety's Big Ticket podcast and discussed how both a surgery and her family's history led to her sobriety.
Cyrus' "really important" decision to embrace sobriety began when she underwent a vocal cord surgery last November, after which she wasn't allowed to speak for four weeks.
"My doctor looked at my vocal cords, and he said, 'No one shy ever has to get this surgery. This is from overuse of the vocal cords,'" Cyrus said. "It’s no surprise that I would have this. I’ve been touring since I was 12 years old, but it’s not even the touring that’s the hard part. It’s you end up staying up late and meet-and-greets and things like that. And obviously I just talk a s**t ton."
Though the sobriety began as a necessity of the surgery, which Cyrus now views as "the biggest blessing," the singer decided to stay the course after thinking about her family's history in therapy.
"I'd been thinking a lot about my mother. My mom was adopted, and so a lot of the feelings that she had and inheriting some of that, kind of an abandonment feeling and a feeling of wanting to prove that you’re wanted and valuable. [My dad's] parents divorced when he was three, and so my dad kind of raised himself," she said of her parents, Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus.
"I did a lot of family history, which has a lot of kind of addiction and kind of mental health challenges. So just going through that and saying, 'Why am I the way that I am?'" Cyrus continued. "By understanding the past, we understand the present and the future much more clearly. So I think therapy is great."
Though she's certainly content in her decision to stay sober, Cyrus admitted that it's a "really hard" lifestyle to maintain as a young person.
"There’s that stigma of 'you’re no fun.' It’s like, 'Honey, you can call me a lot of things, but I know that I’m fun,'" she said. "The thing that I love about it is waking up 100 percent, 100 percent of the time."
"There are a lot of challenges when you wake up. We're being asked to be this active, and this focused, and this on, and we're going to be making these big changes we want to see," she continued. "I don’t want to wake up feeling groggy. I want to wake up feeling ready."
During the interview, Cyrus also discussed her friendship with Justin Bieber and even recalled the piece of advice she offered him when she was a teenager.
"I remember I was sitting in front of him at his movie premiere. I was 16, something like that. He leaned up to me and asked for advice in a very kind of mellow, friendly way," Cyrus recalled. "I said, 'Just try to remember everything, try to press record in your brain and remember everything."
"There were so many moments of my life when my mom will be like, 'Do you remember when you got to perform for the queen?' And I’m like, 'No.' There was so much going on, so much to take in as such a young person, that I didn’t remember to take everything in," she continued. "That’s something my dad always taught me, was when you’re on stage, whether it’s when you get there or when you’re about to leave, take a picture in your mind. And remember it, and savor it, and take it in. Because things are moving so fast that it's hard to just remember."
Cyrus and Bieber will soon have one of those experiences worth remembering when they -- along with Shakira, Coldplay, Jennifer Hudson and more -- perform as part of NBC's special, Global Goal: Unite for Our Future -- The Concert. Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, the telecast will highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities. The special will air Saturday, June 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.