Friday, July 10, 2020

X Factor’s Janet Devlin reveals she attempted suicide at height of her alcohol addiction

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X-Factor star Janet Devlin reveals she became an alcoholic who would wake with gin under her pillow every day after being thrust into the spotlight as a teenager – and says she attempted suicide aged 18

  • Singer Janet Devlin, now 25, told how she tried to take her own life at age of 18
  • Says she would get drunk everyday before work to combat her crippling shyness
  • Went to her first AA meeting after her mother took her to a clinic to get sober

Janet Devlin has revealed that she attempted suicide at the height of her alcohol addiction, and would wake up with ‘bottle of gin under her pillow’.

The Northern Irish singer, now 25, found fame after her stint on the X-Factor in 2011 where she finished in fifth place at the age of 16.

However, after moving to Sheffield alone at the age of 17, she began drinking to hide her crippling shyness.

At the height of her problem, Janet confessed she would regularly go to work drunk, and would drink to hide the ‘incessant voice’ in her head, which spiked her social anxiety.

Admitting on Loose Women today that she would regularly ‘go missing’ for days at a time, Janet was finally able to stop drinking after she was slipped a card for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which she says ‘changed her life’.

Janet Devlin, pictured during her X-Factor audition, found fame after her stint on the singing reality show in 2011, where she finished in fifth place at the age of 16

Janet Devlin, pictured during her X-Factor audition, found fame after her stint on the singing reality show in 2011, where she finished in fifth place at the age of 16

She appeared on Loose Women today where she told that after moving to Sheffield alone at the age of 17, began drinking to hide her crippling shyness

She appeared on Loose Women today where she told that after moving to Sheffield alone at the age of 17, began drinking to hide her crippling shyness

She appeared on Loose Women today where she told that after moving to Sheffield alone at the age of 17, began drinking to hide her crippling shyness

Janet said: ‘At about 18, I had a definite problem’, prompting host Jane Moore asked: ‘What made you think that?’

The singer replied: ‘Maybe the failed suicide attempt.’

She went on: ‘I don’t know in particular the exact moment it got really dark, but I pretty much just woke up every day with a bottle of gin under my pillow. Every day, before work every day, I had to get drunk. ‘

Janet explained that she would often mix sleeping pills with alcohol, but told that her attempts to take her own life were ‘never planned’.

Speaking on the show, Janet revealed that she attempted suicide at the height of her alcohol addiction, and would wake up with 'bottle of gin under her pillow'

Speaking on the show, Janet revealed that she attempted suicide at the height of her alcohol addiction, and would wake up with 'bottle of gin under her pillow'

Speaking on the show, Janet revealed that she attempted suicide at the height of her alcohol addiction, and would wake up with ‘bottle of gin under her pillow’

Janet explained that she would often mix sleeping pills with alcohol, but told that her attempts to take her own life were 'never planned'

Janet explained that she would often mix sleeping pills with alcohol, but told that her attempts to take her own life were 'never planned'

Janet explained that she would often mix sleeping pills with alcohol, but told that her attempts to take her own life were ‘never planned’

Speaking of her suicide attempt, Janet said: ‘My family didn’t know at the time, most of them were never planned.

‘It would happen when I had too much to drink I had access to sleeping medication and I mixed the two together. My poor mum was just waiting to have that phone call to find out I was gone. ‘

The reality star moved to Sheffield from Northern Ireland to record an album at 17, and says alcohol would give her a ‘confidence boost’ in social situations.

‘In those days life was so hectic’, said Janet. ‘It was amazing, but at the end of the day you’re in your apartment on your own and you know nobody.

‘When I was in social situations, I turned to alcohol to give me a confidence boost.’

Janet says her first AA meeting 'changed her life'. She is pictured performing in London in 2016

Janet says her first AA meeting 'changed her life'. She is pictured performing in London in 2016

Janet says her first AA meeting ‘changed her life’. She is pictured performing in London in 2016

Although many would expect Janet to be shy after seeing her on the show, she says social anxiety meant she had to ‘drown out’ negative thoughts with alcohol.

‘People knew my audition and expected me to be shy, it was just this incessant voice in my head that led me to drinking so much.

‘That voice would be like “They don’t even like you, you need to go home, they’re just doing this out of pity”. And the only thing I could do to drown it out was alcohol. ‘

Janet explained that it was a visit from her mother that helped her become sober, after she was slipped a card for AA after being turned away from an over-capacity rehabilitation clinic.

She said: ‘I tried loads of times to get sober and it wasn’t really working and my mum flew over because I’d been missing for three days, again.

‘She tried to get me into a clinic and I couldn’t, so someone slipped me a card for AA and the first meeting it changed my life really.’

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