Jada Pinkett Smith has weathered a lot of loss in her life, but the hardest she ever grieved was for herself.
Speaking about dealing with death on the second episode of her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, Smith revealed that she was asked by the show’s producers to name the biggest loss she experienced over the course of her life.
“I said myself,” Pinkett Smith admitted to her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones. “When you realize that you’ve lost yourself, that’s like devastating. It’s like, ‘How do I get myself back?’ ”
When she realized that she had lost touch with herself, she said, “I was withered, curled up in a ball about to die.”
Pinkett Smith explained that raising her children, working on her marriage, coparenting a stepson, her professional “persona” and “this world of Hollywood,” all contributed to her losing sight of herself over the years.
“That’s been my life for the past 20 some years, battling and rearing,” she explained. “Giving up my career to raise my children, that was a battle.”
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After thanking her mom for the sacrifice, Pinkett Smith told her daughter, “Can I tell you something Willow? I would not change it. I love my family. Don’t get that wrong. But I got lost along the way.”
The actress said she finally snapped out of it when she woke up and asked herself, “What makes you happy? And literally I had no idea, to the point where I didn’t know how to dress myself. Fashion used to be my thing and I’m just now starting to pay attention to that again.”
She added, “All these women out here on Xanax, drinking Chardonnay, it saddens me how a lot of women are out here numbing themselves just to survive in a way that they’ve been told they need to be to have happy lives … but are miserable.”
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During the same episode, Pinkett Smith also opened up about the loss of her best friend, Tupac Shakur. “A lot of people try to figure out my relationship with Pac. That was, you know, a huge loss in my life,” she said.
Long before the world knew their names, the pair was just aspiring artists at the Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland.
When Shakur was killed in September 1996, Pinkett Smith hadn’t been speaking to her friend after a “hardcore” argument about their changing lives. “It definitely taught me a lesson, which is life is too short. Do not let disagreements stand in between you and people that you love,” she said.
The next episode of Red Table Talk hits Facebook Watch Monday.