It is natural to imagine a successful and happy life for an actress of her stature and more so from the perspective of a fan. However, the reality is that successful people have much more pain and struggles in their life as compared to others, and that is what makes them rise above the others. The story of Angelina Jolie is no different and gives out the lesson that behind every successful story, there is tenacity, toil, and hard work.
1. Growing up in Separated Family
Her parents’ separated in 1976, and she lived with her mother, who had abandoned her acting ambitions to focus on raising her children. Jolie had a lifelong dysfunctional relationship with her father, which began when he left the family when Jolie was less than a year old.
2. Feeling of Isolation
In school, Jolie felt isolated among the children of some of the area’s affluent families because her mother survived on a more modest income. She was teased by other students, who targeted her for being extremely thin and for wearing glasses and braces.
3. Initial Failures
Her early attempts at modeling, at her mother’s insistence, proved unsuccessful. Jolie committed to acting professionally at the age of 16, but initially found it difficult to pass auditions, often being told that her demeanor was “too dark.”
As a teenager, Jolie found it difficult to emotionally connect with other people, and as a result, she self-harmed later commenting, “For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me.” When she was 24, she experienced a nervous breakdown and was admitted for 72 hours to UCLA Medical Center’s psychiatric ward.
5. Drugs Abuse and Suicide Attempts
She also struggled with insomnia and an eating disorder, and began experimenting with drugs; by age 20, she had used “just about every drug possible,” particularly heroin. Jolie suffered episodes of depression and twice planned to commit suicide—at age 19 and again at 22 when she attempted to hire a hitman to kill her.
6. Fight with Cancer
“I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity”
Angelina Jolie on her double mastectomy in 2013
On February 16, 2013, at age 37, Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene.