As Miley Cyrus celebrates the release of her new album Plastic Hearts, the singer is reflecting on what got her to this new era — in life and in her music.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the former Disney star opened up about her marriage to Liam Hemsworth and what was really going on behind closed doors. Cyrus, 28, said she was drinking and doing drugs while people thought she was living a “fairy tale.”
“In early 2018, I was playing house, which felt really good at the time,” she recalled. “Now I have this healthy perspective that I didn’t have before. I learned a lot about what I can and cannot be for someone else and what I can and cannot accept for myself.”
Cyrus continued, “A couple of years ago, it looked like I was living some fairy tale. It really wasn’t. At that time, my experimentation with drugs and booze and the circle of people around me was not fulfilling or sustainable or ever going to get me to my fullest potential and purpose.”
Hemsworth, 30, and the “Midnight Sky” singer were together for the better part of a decade and engaged for six years. They wed in December 2018, shortly after their house in Malibu burned down in the Woolsey Fire.
“In a way, [the wildfire] did what I couldn’t do for myself. It removed me from what no longer was serving its purpose. And then as you drown, you reach for that lifesaver and you want to save yourself,” she shared. “I think that’s really what, ultimately, getting married was for me. One last attempt to save myself.”
Cyrus, who is now sober, said she was drinking and doing drugs “at the same time” she was playing house with The Hunger Games actor. It’s ironic, the singer noted, as the media assumed she had it totally together when she was with Hemsworth and released Younger Now in 2017.
“There’s an idea that during the Younger Now era, I was pure. The media likes to have my hair or what I look like be the point of reference for my sanity. ‘Hair’s long and blond, she’s sane right now. She cannot be f***** up on drugs. It’s when her hair is painted or she’s growing out her armpit hair [that] she’s on drugs,’” Cyrus remarked.
“Dude, I was way more off my path at that time than any of the times before where my sanity was being questioned,” she continued. “I don’t like ever saying anything in a very solid concrete way, but right now I have been focusing on sobriety as I wanted to wake up 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. If I’ve ever learned to balance myself and to not take it too far, I would. But so far any time I’ve messed with that, it hasn’t gotten me what I want.”
Cyrus realized she didn’t want that partying lifestyle anymore. It’s something she sang about in her post-breakup ballad Slide Away, which she said she wrote while she was still with Hemsworth.
“I was still in my relationship, I was still living in my house in Malibu. That’s why [I sang], ‘I want my house in the hills.’ I wanted out of there, and it says, ‘I don’t want the whiskey and pills.’ I didn’t want to maintain that lifestyle,” Cyrus explained. “It’s really weird because I can never figure out what comes first: art or life? Does art imitate life or life imitate art? Or do you speak it into existence? Am I that powerful that when I write something, I become it?”
Cyrus called her sobriety “a choice” more than a necessity.
“It depends how you look at it. I think it’s necessary for me to fulfill my purpose right now,” she explained. “I try to bookend everything for right now, because otherwise it becomes a statement [and] that pressure of maintaining. I guess that’s what ‘Midnight Sky’ says, ‘Forever and ever no more.’ No more concrete statements.”
Cyrus first got sober in 2019, but has been open about relapsing with alcohol amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Like a lot of people during the pandemic, I fell off. It was really a struggle,” she shared. “Mental health and anxiety and all that. I lost myself there, and now I’m back on five weeks.”
The former Hannah Montana star said she hasn’t “done drugs in years.”
“Honestly, I never try to, again, be a fortune-teller. I try to not be naive. Things f****** happen. But from sitting here with you right now, I would say it would have to be a cold day in hell for me to relapse on drugs,” she stated. However, she’s leaving the door open for psychedelic drugs.
“I would possibly take mushrooms. I did take ayahuasca, and I really, really liked that, but I don’t think I would do it again,” Cyrus said, later adding she’s “really good at quitting things.”
“I have a weed machine right there. I’ve never smoked out of it, and it’s full. [If] I had a cocaine machine, it might not be full,” she admitted. “That’s the thing. I’m really not an addict. You can have that. You’re good. To me, fun is any time I feel like I really display or I really reach my full potential. When the glass ceiling breaks. That’s f****** fun for me.”
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