Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Dear Sarah Harding...

You don't know me, but I know a bit about you. You were in a reality show that created a pop group called Girls Aloud, whose songs I personally thought pretty awful but which were successful a few years ago. Since then you and your bandmates have DEFINITELY NOT SPLIT and there's constant talk of a reunion which never seems to happen, and you have mainly been pictured entering and leaving nightclubs.

You recently went into and then left rehab. During the past week or so those bits of the nation which care and quite a few which don't have been treated to a - if you'll pardon the bad-taste pun - blow-by-blow account of an argument in an Austrian hotel room with your boyfriend Theo De Vries. You have each said the other was violent, you have each reported the matter to the police, and you have each posed for pictures with your bruises. As human interest stories go it's grimy and depressing in the extreme.

I have had my fair share of arguments. I have gone tonto in the street and been arrested, I have smashed stuff up, the balance of my mind has gone off the scale a few times and I've been the victim of an addicted man who thought it was reasonable to bounce me off the walls of our home. It's none of my business what you get up to, but please take the following advice as coming from someone who knows their shizzle:

1) An affair with someone you meet in rehab is a fucking stupid idea.

2) Yesterday your PR was telling everyone you were sober and the victim of a terrible attack. Today you admit each of you was knocking back the booze, as though this doesn't matter. You are an alcoholic and so is he, so a fight like this was always on the cards. Don't blame your boyfriend for bringing you booze, because of 1).

3) You have the ability to say no. It's difficult and less fun than saying yes, but you can say no to a drink, no to stupid boyfriends, and while this may be a little off-piste I'd like you to say no to a reunion for the sake of my ears and your sanity. Spend some time on your own and get better.

4) You were a pop singer but now you are a 'troubled star'. Your career just jackknifed down the Sophie Anderton slope and that's not a nice place to be. You still have time to back-track but if you don't you're going to be a perma-tanned, scrawny, angry alchy with expensive tastes and no legitimate way of making money, and you're not going to make old bones.

5) You and Theo, as far as I can tell, are both telling the truth about each other and not about yourselves. You hit him and he hit you, and whoever did it first neither of you are in the right because that kind of violence is always wrong. When you fight back in a row all you do is up the ante, and the violence only ever gets worse. Look at yourself as hard as you are looking at him.

6) If your PR hasn't already resigned, get a new one. The decision to drag this nasty mess out publicly has kicked your career in the crotch.

7) See 1) again. And again, and again, and again.

None of this is to say that he's not in the wrong, or that you're not a victim. But when you are in a hole, the hole is all you can see; you don't get any perspective until you climb out of it. It strikes me that the main thing you're a victim of is your illness - you don't need to prove anything, you just need to make better decisions.

Get rid of the bastards, the blame complex, and the booze, otherwise this will keep on happening and it will happen harder and worse. If you choose to, you can rise above it. If you don't then it's going to swallow you.

And go back to rehab.


- Maya Angelou