The frontwoman discussed how success made her more self-conscious in the piece
Garbage‘s Shirley Manson has opened up about her experience with self-harm and “imposter syndrome” in a new op-ed piece.
Writing for the New York Times, Manson shared her history with self-harm, explaining she first cut herself as a teenager in a toxic relationship. “I suddenly felt I was part of something much bigger than this stupid situation I had found myself in,” she wrote. “To my mind, my life had just immediately become more grand and expansive. The problem of course with any practice of self-harm is that once you choose to indulge in it, you get better, more efficient, at it.”
After she broke off the relationship, she stopped harming herself, but said she found herself back in that mindset when Garbage toured their ‘Version 2.0‘ album. “I was under immense physical and mental pressure,” Manson said. “I was a media “it” girl, and as a result, I was lucky enough to be invited to grace the covers of newspapers and fashion magazines all over the world.”
She went on to explain that being paid so much attention gave her a new sense of self-consciousness, “the intensity of which I hadn’t experienced since I was a young woman in the throes of puberty.” She continued: “I was suffering from extreme “imposter syndrome”, constantly measuring myself against my peers, sincerely believing that they had gotten everything right and I had gotten everything so very wrong.”
Manson said she managed to “resist the compulsion to harm myself again” and “muscled my way through the frustrations, the sick, unhealthy comparisons, and the peculiar, destructive feelings the drove me to believe I wasn’t enough.”
The star finished the piece by sharing a Stanley Kunitz’s poem, The Layers. “And when I struggle with my sense of self, as I so often do, I summon [it] to mind,” she wrote.
Garbage recently released a 20th-anniversary edition of their ‘Version 2.0’ album. They will celebrate the record on tour in the UK in September. Tickets are available here.
Garbage will play:
Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival Theatre (September 4)
Glasgow, Barrowlands (5)
Bristol, St. Phillips Gate Arena (7)
Birmingham, Digbeth Arena (8)
Manchester, Academy 1 Manchester (9)
Nottingham, Rock City (11)
Newcastle, Northumbria SU Institute (12)
London, O2 Academy Brixton (14, 15)