Cara Delevingne Interviewed Adwoa Aboah About Her Addiction

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images.
Cara Delevingne recently interviewed fellow model and friend Adwoa Aboah about Aboah's addiction, mental illness, and subsequent treatment, for Teen Vogue. As their conversation unfolds, we, as readers, experience Aboah's personal story through her frank retelling — she speaks with an emotional distance and clarity that only time allows for.

In the interview, we learn of her diagnosis for depression and bipolar disorder (which she received as a teenager), her time spent in rehab, and of her suicide attempt less than two years earlier. Throughout the conversation, as Aboah delves deeper, Delevingne remains empathetic and lets Aboah speak for herself. It's a portrait not only of a young woman taking ownership of her past, but of a strong, supportive female friendship.

Delevingne begins the interview by reminding Aboah how important she is to her: "There are people who are a constant inspiration, people I look up to and who make me want to be stronger — you are one of them to me." From there, she chimes in to encourage Aboah onward, or to simply echo a sentiment to Aboah's response. She's present but unintrusive, providing what so many people living with addiction and mental illness wish for: someone to listen.

Adwoa speaks to how important education about mental illness truly is, especially from a young age: "No one had ever educated me on mental health. I really didn’t understand why I would be feeling high on life, and everything was brilliant, and then suddenly I would be crashing into a deep hole." It's this lack of awareness, she explains, that led her to conceal how she was feeling for many years. "I always believed that I had to pretend to be happy," she tells Delevingne.

Since then, Aboah learned the importance of honesty, despite the sense she had that her "problems [weren't] big enough" to ask for help. "As I started being honest, I became a much better daughter and friend and girlfriend," she says, adding that the women who provided support during her recovery were her most powerful source of inspiration. To this, Delevingne reinforces her experience: "It’s strong to be vulnerable. To be able to communicate with other women is one of the most powerful things."

The role of women in Aboah's own life prompted her to establish an organization for other girls struggling with similar issues. Gurls Talk will be a support network and educational resource for girls with mental illnesses, addictions, and eating disorders. And as Aboah explains, it will emphasize peer-to-peer interactions much more than other, similar resources. "Instead of it being a lecture coming from a teacher or a woman twice their age, I want it to be from women these girls can relate to, women who are speaking from experience."

Read the full interview on Teen Vogue.
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