As a longtime Hollywood veteran, Angelina Jolie, 42, no doubt knows the art of the spin. So it's refreshing that during a recent Telegraph interview, she chose to be candid about what has been, in her words, "a very difficult year" for her emotionally.
First, there was her high-profile split from Brad Pitt, 53. “I don’t enjoy being single. It’s not something I wanted," Jolie explained. "There’s nothing nice about it. It’s just hard. Sometimes maybe it appears I am pulling it all together, but really I am just trying to get through my days."
Additionally, Jolie has had to deal with what she described to The Telegraph as "some other health issues."
"So my health is something I have to monitor," she added.
Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy four years ago and later had her ovaries removed. She also opened up to Vanity Fair this summer about her recent struggles with hypertension and Bell’s palsy, which caused one side of her face to droop. She used acupuncture to manage her condition, but says that perspective has been the best medicine.
"So much in life you just focus on how much worse it could be,” Jolie told The Telegraph. “And I am so happy I don’t have cancer, and that if I do get it, it will be delayed for a few years. The exchange for that peace of mind is quite good. I feel sometimes that my body has taken a hit, but I try to laugh as much as possible."
Jolie's brood of youngsters — Maddox, 16; Pax, 13; Zahara, 12; Shiloh, 11; and 9-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne — have been good for that. “We tend to get so stressed that our children feel our stress when they need to feel our joy," Jolie explained of how her family keeps her looking for the silver lining. "Even if you are going through chemo, you need to find the ability to love and laugh. It may sound like a postcard, but it’s true.”
“The children have been amazing,” she also told The Telegraph. “It’s been so moving to see how much they have helped each other and how much they have helped me. They have really come into their own and they are finding themselves and their voices. I know that they will have each other for life and it gives me great peace to know the day I pass away that they will take care of each other.”
As her kids continue to grow, Jolie believes it may be time for her to “rediscover a little bit of the old me."
“I think we lose our way a bit. I have had a lot happen in my life, from certain people passing to health issues to raising the children," she said. “And it’s been a very good time to absorb and develop and grow. But maybe now that my kids are growing up I am starting to realize that my own sense of play has been put on hold for a while. And maybe them hitting their teens is going to bring out a little more fun in mom.”