Paris Jackson is the 'happiest and healthiest I’ve been' after years of mental health struggles

·3 min read

Paris Jackson is on a journey to be her happiest self.

The 24-year-old daughter of the late Michael Jackson has been open about her mental health struggles in the past, both on her own show Unfiltered: Paris Jackson & Gabriel Glenn and during an appearance on Red Table Talk where she opened up about former suicide attempts in conversation with Willow Smith. After being so candid about the experiences she's had with grief, anxiety, depression and even self-harm following the death of her father, the singer and model is proud to be in a better place.

"When I look in the mirror, I don’t hate what I see anymore, and I've grown into self-love…I try to treat myself kindly," she told Spin magazine. "I have some bad days where I’m not as kind to myself as I would like to be…I don’t do anything perfectly, but I try to progress daily."

Paris explained that she's done a lot of exploration through music and art, often using songwriting as a tool to express her emotions. Despite her recent songs being "much darker" than those she's written in the past, she assured readers, "I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve been."

Much of that can be attributed to having started therapy, as well as cutting out unhealthy habits like smoking and people-pleasing. Now, she surrounds herself with those who make her happy and allow her to prioritize her own needs. Strong friendships have also taught her how to strengthen the relationship she has with herself.

"Because I see myself as a friend, when I don’t maintain a boundary or when I don’t set one, it’s like bailing on a friend," she explained. "I feel horrible if I bail on a friend, so if I do that to myself, I’m also bailing on a friend, and that doesn’t feel good anymore."

She's also had to apply these boundaries to better navigate her life in the public as she encounters scrutiny for different life choices. When she acted as an outspoken advocate for peace during the Black Lives Matter protests, Paris recalled people having problems with her activism.

"I was face to face with some of the cops, and I felt the heat from some of the cars on fire, and I got pushback for being like, 'Hey, maybe peaceful protest is the way,'" she said.

Despite the pressure to live out her father's legacy, she's decided that the best way for her to live her life is to do so authentically.

"No matter what I do – I can go left, I can go right – someone’s going to be upset," she said. "So I might as well be myself and not cause harm and I’ll be alright. That’s how I look at it."

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Effective July 16, call 988.

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