â€œCare stopped the medication cycleâ€
Relationship crisis and burn out drove Jonna Nygren to take care of herself with medication and liquor. People close to her found the lonely rock wife and took her to rehab â€“ 'Then I realized it isn't a shame to ask for help'
JONNA NYGREN, broken up with Ville Valo
â€œI returned stronger from the rehabâ€
In the world of society columns Jonna Nygren, 27, should have been a lucky girl. There Jonna lives as a rock wife for the lead singer, Ville Valo, 30, of the most successful Finnish band Him. She spinned around in celebrity-model events and got her own show to host at Moon-tv, Sub-tv and latest, MTV.
The couple got engaged last summer in Provinssirock, and instead of rings they got tattoos on their fingers, and bought a house from Helsinki's most expensive neighborhood. The fans cried for the taken Ville and Jonna got suggestions for an interview with the idea of 'Finland's most hated normal person'. She declined for that story, but in an other revealed that the couple were thinking of names for future children. Ville praised the power of relationship and told that his lady was hoping for a winter wedding.
At the change of the year mud was thrown over the dream headlines. Jonna threw a fit in a bar and screamed holes in her mans ear. Ville, thought to be a gentleman, shook the peace of the high class building, made noise and threatened the neighbor The rocker ended up in jail.
In the beginning of March there were news of the couples shock break up. A few column weeks later Jonna ended up in an hospital. Jonna says she has heard dozens of reasons and versions of why, and in what care she ended up in. Now shes feeling good enough to tell, what was really going on behind the tabloids.
-The most ridiculous comment came from a half acquaintance. According to that, I was partying so wildly after the break up that I ended up in rehab. Right â€“ last months have been absolutely hilarious, my life continuous May day . Things really aren't the way everybody thinks they are, Jonna corrects.
Well how are they then?
Going asleep and waking up with medication
In the beginning of May the tabloids were screaming 'Break up from Ville drove to a vicious circle-
JONNA WENT TO REHAB!â€
In reality burn out and its self medication drove Jonna to rehab. Jonna counts that her problems started about half a year ago. When Ville was touring with Him, Jonna lived alone in the couples' apartment and killed time with working. Too much.
Real life really wasn't just living as a rock wife. Jonna has worked in restaurant business her whole working life and in addition to that has done modeling jobs and TV-hosting. The shifts at the favorite restaurants of Helsinki could stretch out to 3 am, and waking up for the days hosting job was at 5am. She started feeling overtired and irritated. Even though the fatigue weighted heavy, sleep didn't come.
-I was always tense, weepy and depressed. Was so damn tired, but just had to go on. I was constantly taking more work, although I wasn't feeling good.
Jonna started medicating her insomnia and bad feelings.
-When I got home in the evenings I drank red wine, so I could relax. Sleep, on the other hand, didn't come without tranquilizers or sleeping pills. That lead to that I in the morning had to stuff my face full with caffeine tablets, because the usual coffee wakening didn't help anymore, she tells.
Over-tiredness, stress and pressure of the relationship got deeper and worse. It was a full job for Jonna to get out of her house and take care of the agreed shifts, but still she couldn't recognize the condition she was getting into.
-In that treadwheel I didn't even notice the symptoms of depression. I felt violent anxiety and often felt like crying, but didn't stop to think what was wrong with me.
The final stop came in the middle of March when Jonna withdrew to her home.
-I was drinking by myself and was physically so dead tired, that I couldn't even drag myself to the bathroom or the toilet. Everything felt so overwhelming. My friends came to visit and found me in the apartment in a confused state of mind. I hadn't showered for a week. I didn't have strenght for anything.
The friends stayed for the night to support Jonna and contacted her mother. The psychiatric-mother, who works with youngsters who have drug problems, understood immediately that now care was needed, not scolding.
-Only after the others came for help I realized that this is what I needed. I felt enormously relieved. It felt like a rock had been lifted from me, when I was found and I got to say, that I needed help.
Mother guided to rehab
Although the ultimate reason for Jonnas sickness were depression and over-tiredness, firstly the drug dependence, that had formed in the near months, had to be taken care of. Jonna was guided to the Aurora hospital in Helsinki, but that didn't feel like the right place, not in her or the doctors opinion. With mothers advice she went to Pellas, which is specialized for rehabitation.
-In the connection you talk about drug rehab. Though I wasn't doing drugs, my medication dependency needed the same kind of treatment.
Jonna praises Pellas' 11-person rehabitation center. A home-like atmosphere and an intimate spirit dominated the little unit.
-The other recoveries were amazing personalities. I don't remember laughing so much in ages. We
were able to laugh at ourselves and our restlessness. That helped the recovery. On the other hand you realized it isn't a shame to ask for help. There are others alike.
Only in the rehab Jonna realized in what a bad shape she had been in.
She portrays herself as a performer who tries to please everybody, from friend to employer.
-I like to take care of others. That way you forget your own troubles. A nurse in Pallas reminded me, that now I was resting myself. There I realized that I don't have to be a superwoman and assiduously assure that I can handle everything. Its ok to say, that I'm completely dead tired.
Pallas concentrates on resting, discussing, eating well and exercising. Jonna had lost weight and was in a fragile condition, so rehab and insomnia were tough for the body, too.
-I did handiwork, when I got an allowance for knitting needles. They were forbidden in the house rules, but luckily the nurses saw that knitting is an effective way for me to calm down.
Jonna was in Pellas for a month. During that time she was only in contact with her mother. The rest of the world had to wait.
-When the month came to close, the thought of leaving was frightening. I had gotten used to having support near. My other life had been on pause for the whole treatment and I was nervous on what kind of pressures I would encounter in the outer world.
After the rehab Jonna started therapy. At first she had a threshold with talking to a complete stranger. When the beginning reservedness was gotten over with the care-relationship became encouraging. Therapy concentrates on taking care of the depression and finding out where it all started. A therapist doesn't give you advice, but helps you think and understand.
-I have learned enormously about myself and realized how things are connected to each other and how our experiences affect us. This has been an interesting journey in myself, and it probably would suit everybody, even if they weren't going through a dramatic stop like this.
Ville calls daily
â€œThe relationship was ended over the phone- VILLE DUMPED JONNAâ€ The engaged couples break was in the tabloids in the beginning of March. It was told that Ville left Jonna with a text message. Jonna doesn't talk about Ville and herself as â€œweâ€ anymore. Instead of a break up she would rather call it a break. She doesn't want to chew over the reasons of the break here.
-We were both drunk then, one in Athens, one in Finland. We were having a war with text messages, racingly sending each other mean, bitchy messages. It was a blunder episode of two drunkards, where one was trying to focus on its job, the other on keeping its head together. Intoxication is the right state when going through these kinds of things, sneers Jonna
The relationship that has laster for three years is on penalty, until Ville gets back to Finland from his American tour, when the couple gets to talk face to face. The rumors of a complete break up are rubbish.
-We talk together on the phone daily. Ville always calls when hes going to sleep and again when he has woken up. We talk about this and that. How are you, eating porridge, what are you doing, watching a movie
Jonna reminds that every relationship has problems that are not supposed to be straightened out over the phone. You have to talk these things through face to face.
-Even though it's hard to believe, things have a habit of straightening out. I have my idea on how things are gonna continue and where I'll in the end settle up in, but thats between us.
For now Jonna lives with her mother in HyvinkÃ¤Ã¤. The ex-couples home in Kaivopuisto is on sale and Ville has gotten a new house from Munkkiniemi.
Jonna admits that a traveling job caused pressure in the relationship, but that staying apart also had its charm. Both got time for their selves, and the moments shared together are even more appreciated. Jonna toured around with Him in few occasions, for the longest she was with them on the American tour. Jonna was also going to go to Australia and Japan, but her sickness ruined the plans.
-Only on the road I realized what a hard job the guys are doing. In the morning you wake up to do interviews, then you transfer to where the gig is taking place. In the night you move to the next target where the routines are repeated. Glamour is far from it, and everyone who manages tour life deserves respect.
It also takes guts for them who stay at home.
-Maybe even more than for the one who leaves, Jonna remarks.
The one on the road has its traveling routines and can focus tightly on working, but frustration and longing lurks to the one waiting at home.
-But I don't blame the job for what happened between us. When I got into the relationship Ville was already a successful rockstar and I did know where I got myself into.
To the brake up fuss Jonna takes a humorous stand
-Luckily after it came the break up of the Kirvesniemis, Jonna laughs dryly. All respect to their relationship, but from my point of view it was a relief that the public got something else to talk about.
The seething gypsy blood
â€œJonna threw a fit, EARDRUM RIPPEDâ€ In the end of last year Jonna screamed herself to the tabloids after a night that went too wild. They were playing spin the bottle with a group of friends, until Jonna lost her nerve and screamed so that the eardrum of Ville, who was sitting next to her, ripped. If the hole had been any bigger Ville would have ended up on an operation table and Villes American tour would have been canceled.
-I was told that for a eardrum to rip you need a 140 desibel shout. It seems I have a voice that carries far. Greetings to the boys of Nightwish, here it goes, Jonna smiles tamely.
She believes that one day this will be laughed about, although now its shameful.
-Never in my life have I been so sorry about anything, or to anybody, then I am about that stunt.
Jonna describes herself to be a mood person, who cries as easily as laughs. Emotions are not held back.
-I let everything come out in the moment I feel like it. My friends are used to it and let me rage for a while, because they know I'll get back to normal soon. I guess it's my seething gypsy blood, says Jonna motioning to her gypsy grandfather.
It was probably the gypsy blood in her when she at the age of 8 told her mother she was moving out of Finland when she grows up. Her friends would become hairdressers, nurses and truck drivers, she would be a traveler. At the age of 17 she left to Helsinki for a few days holiday, and forgot herself in her friends house for a month, and later moved there entirely. A few years later she ended up in New York just as spontaniously: a one month holiday expanded to three years.
Jonnas and Ville Valos roads crossed for the first time in 2003, when Jonna was visiting Finland. She was slowly planning on returning to Finland, but when the love flamed the plans speeded up.
Jonna says she wasn't the least bit interested in standing in publicity next to Ville, and didn't let it change her life. She had gotten her own share of publicity with her jobs on Moon-TV, Sub-TV, and now on MTV. To gossiping Jonna has an uncaring attitude.
-Half acquitances call and tell things on our behalf. So what? That doesn't feel like anything. There are always lurkers and I don't view them as my friends. We had a habit of sending SMS on who found the most 'bomb' headline
What doesn't piss you off anymore, strengthens
â€œTHE SICK LEAVE CONINUES STILLâ€ told the tabloids, but Jonna is on the better half of the recovery. Therapy continues regularly and Jonna has slowly returned to restaurant jobs. When MTVs Headbangers ball returns from the summer brake Jonna will continue to host it.
Right after the rehab Jonna felt like the normal life wouldn't work. She wasn't able to sleep and couldn't find a good rhythm.
-The next phase was, what doesn't kill pisses you off. With the support of others I could carry on, even if it was strength taking. Then came the best phase of recovery: What doesn't piss you off anymore, strengthens. I could look back and notice, that, jes- I went through quite a mess, but came through as a much stronger human. I understand myself, others and the society better.
Jonna used to think that exhaustion was a sign of weakness. Close relations and doctors have praised her to be brave, she did confess she needed help and even told the public about her hell.
-Going to rehab was the best opinion for me at that moment. I wasn't the first, definitely not the last, and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.
Jonna is thankful for the support her friends gave her. She hadn't realized how many people she had who cared about her.
-Though, then there are those who think I was in rehab because I was crazy
Jonna admits that she couldn't have survived without the help of her mother. Mom knew, that instead of condemnation, understanding was needed. It would have been easy to turn your back on your drunkard and take a condemnated attitude.
-My mother was an absolutely fabulous help, and the tough experience has brought us together. Lets see, when I bear to leave from her. There we lay next to my mom, my little sister and I. Right now it's the safest place on earth.