Alanis Morisette rose to fame in the 1990’s with her scathing confessional-type lyrics and unique voice. And in real life she has been known to talk about difficult things with candor as well.
In March of this year, Morisette announced that she and her husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway were expecting a new addition to their family. The couple already has two children, Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway and Onyx Solace Morissette-Treadway.
In a recent interview with Self, the 45 year-old musician opened up about some difficult topics that many mothers can relate to. In a digital cover story on June 26th, writer Nicole Cliffe got to interview Alanis, and they discussed some heavy topics including miscarriage and postnatal depression.
Morisette told the magazine that between the births of her two children, she had experienced miscarriages, stating she “felt so much grief and fear. I chased and prayed for pregnancy and learned so much about my body and biochemistry and immunity and gynecology through the process. It was a torturous learning and loss-filled and persevering process.”
According to the March of Cents, 10-15% of known pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Despite the fact that this is so common, many people feel uncomfortable discussing their loss. Recently there has been a movement of women talking frankly about this experience, which ultimately helps all women. For women who have gone through the process, hearing about others who have too can be therapeutic. It also sheds a light on just how common this experience can be.
Morisette also took the opportunity in this interview to speak openly about her experiences with postnatal depression. “For me I would just wake up and feel like I was covered in tar and it wasn’t the first time I’d experienced depression so I just thought Oh, well, this feels familiar, I’m depressed, I think,” she told Self.
This is a familiar description to those of us who have experienced it. Postnatal depression can be simultaneously sneaky and all-present. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 70-80% of women will have some experience with the “baby blues” at least. However, although it is such a common occurrence of motherhood, it continues to be something that women are hush about, as it’s accompanied my feelings of guilt and shame. Ultimately this can cost women their lives, or at the very least cause countless new mothers to suffer unnecessarily.
This wasn’t the musician’s first time talking about this subject. She was very open in the past about her struggles with mental wellness after the birth of her children. In an interview with People in 2017, the singer spoke frankly about her experiences with Postnatal Depression, and how it manifested itself after the births of her two children. She described the process of identifying the illness and how long it took to get help. This time around, Morisette is prepared if it rears it’s ugly head again.
As a celebrity that can approach the topic from a place of influence, Alanis Morisette’s candor on these subjects was a breath of fresh air. The more the stigma around these topics is broken, the better. It’s always a win for mothers everywhere to have others come forward and break the silence.
Women and mothers tend to bear the burden of these subjects being viewed as taboo, and the more we speak of them, the more we normalize them.