Blossom Ball 2018 - Halsey

Blossom Ball 2018 - Halsey

- Well, as you guys obviously heard from Subrata De and Sandra Gelbard that I gave a speech a couple months ago at the Women's March, which means I'm the speech girl now. So I hope you weren't expecting something too eloquent because I'm winging this one as it is very close to my heart. When I was 20-years-old I was just starting out as a musician and I was in the time of my life when everything was kind of make it or break it. And one night I was Chicago. I was playing the Vic Theater, and I was doing an event for Vevo, which is a really large social media platform. 33 million impressions, which is a number I'll never forget. Because that night in Chicago I had a miscarriage, I was 20-years-old. I didn't even know I was pregnant, and I had a miscarriage and I remember laying on a bed in a hotel room with a towel between my legs, bleeding and staring at my very young, very scared, very male managers who had no idea what was going on and I remember them looking at me and saying, I mean, it's 33 million impressions. This concert's kind of a big deal. So I had a choice to make in that moment which was whether I was going to let this experience play out the way that it was probably supposed to, or if I was gonna get out there and I was gonna go on that stage, so I took a Percocet and I put on an adult incontinence diaper and I wore a long T-shirt that would cover it and I got on stage and I performed in front of about 1,200 screaming teenage girls and there's videos of it online, if you wanna go watch. It was in that moment that I realized that part of being a woman and dealing with reproductive health is being treated like you're not a human, is being treated like you're a robot and you're supposed to wake up everyday and get over it. But it was also in that moment that I realized that I could overcome anything and that if I wanted to pursue this career and I wanted to pursue this path, there was absolutely nothing that was gonna get in my fucking way, excuse my language. I went to Planned Parenthood after because I was 20-years-old and I was a struggling musician and we don't make a lot of money when you're 20-years-old and a struggling musician and Planned Parenthood was the only place I knew that was safe, that I knew I could trust, where I would be treated like a person and given options and information and that's where I went. So shout out Planned Parenthood. And the biggest question was, why me at 20-years-old? Perfectly healthy, able-bodied, why would I have a miscarriage? And it was in that process that I found out that I had endometriosis and I had had painful periods my whole life but it was something that I was kind of told is just something women in our family deal with. I was told I was sensitive or over dramatic. I remember when I had my first job as a hostess at a restaurant, I remember clearing a table and taking a tray back into the kitchen and collapsing to the floor and rushing to the hospital and there was a lot of misdiagnoses along the way. PCOS, which I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with as well. But nobody really knew what was going on until I had that miscarriage. And it was shortly after that I met my current OB-GYN who is Dr. Aliabadi out in LA and she is really, really incredible and she is one of my best friends because we see a lot of each other I didn't know what was going on when I got my diagnosis and I had spent a lifetime tucking my tampons into the sleeve of my sweatshirt when I would go to the bathroom, god forbid anybody knew that I was menstruating 'cause it was like the most shameful thing of all time. And now there was this. So, you take the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a woman, which is having your period, and you make it worse and that's a really tough pill to swallow. I was 21 and was realizing that there is a possibility that I wouldn't be able to have kids and I spoke about it. I told my fans what I was going through about my diagnosis. I implored them to speak with their physicians and that if they were going through painful menstrual cycles, they needed to speak up because it's not normal to be having such pain. If you're staying home from work, if you're staying home from school, this is not normal and you need to speak up and you need to ask your physicians to take you seriously. And what happened afterwards was kind of amazing because hundreds, maybe even thousands of young people started coming to my concerts and coming to my meet and greets and telling me that because I drew their attention to endometriosis they were diagnosed and people were catching this disease and young people who were 16, 17, 18-years-old, which means there was so much hope for them. There was hope for them to not live a life that was full of pain and this was something they wouldn't have known about if I didn't post a tweet one day. And it seemed so simple but it was a scary thing to do because as soon as I did it, oh boy, did the world flock in. Everyone wanted to know, who was the father of the baby that I miscarried, was I ever gonna be able to have kids, does this mean I was infertile, what is endometriosis? Everyone just wanted to pick and pick and pick and pick apart at me and I was already feeling very, very, very vulnerable. Part of endometriosis is that it can feel like a direct attack on your womanhood. I was very fatigued and was fainting backstage at my concerts and I was bleeding and I was pissed off at the whole world. I was like, why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? My god, is this because I had sex before marriage? Is this what I get, seriously? Because I'll take it all back, I really will. But in that process of having everyone pick me apart and feeling so insecure, and feeling like less of a woman 'cause I couldn't be intimate with my boyfriend, because I couldn't go out when my friends wanted me to, because I was dealing with digestion problems and bleeding problems and fainting and all the other amazing things that come along with having endo, it was really hard to feel like that confident 20 something year old girl who wanted to get on the stage with her middle finger held high and make everyone sing along with her. I had surgery a year ago in January and since then, I have felt a lot better, I really have. I had laparoscopic diagnostic surgery and endometriosis ablation. And I walked the red carpet at the Grammy's with stitches in my stomach, so, there's that. And I have made a lot of friends now that I am able to go out and do stuff, and I'm in a new relationship with someone that really loves me and understands me and is compassionate and caring about what I've gone through but I still wake up everyday and I'm scared that if I become that sick girl again that all those people are gonna go away. That fear, it's gonna haunt me for the rest of my life, that if I get sick again, if I get bad like I was, that my friends aren't going to understand, that my partner is not gonna understand, that everybody is going to give up on me because I'm a lot easier to deal with when I'm healthy than I am when I'm sick. But it's being places like here and hearing the stories of other women who've been through what I've been through and seeing the smiles on their face and watching them walk in beautiful dresses and watching them be here with their children, their miracle children that they're so happy to have and it's these experiences that give me hope and make me proud to be sharing my story and knowing that because I'm talking about it and because I am not ashamed of it and because I am proud of it that more women are in this world hopefully can catch their diagnosis early or wake up one day and realize that the pain they're living with is not normal and that hopefully they can live a pain-free life because of it and I hope that more attention will come to research, to treatment because 1 in 10 women is way too fucking many. You have to forgive me, I'm emotional and I'm also obviously very hormonal so I knew I was going to cry. I'm really lucky, I get on stage every night in a little white costume mind you and I work my ass off and to any of my fans and friends and people listening to me who may not know anything about me or never heard a song, if you are struggling with endometriosis or any chronic illness for that matter, you need to know that it's not something that makes you weak, it's about all that you've overcome and every battle that you win helps you win the war at the end of the day. Keep talking to your friends, keep supporting your loved ones. To the women in your life, make sure that they don't feel ashamed to talk about their reproductive rights, to talk about their reproductive experiences, because the only way for this, for us to gain control of this, is to speak about it. I am so honored to be here and to be supporting my endo sisters in the room, around the world. I can't thank you guys enough. Keep fucking fighting. Thank you guys.