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Malena Smith tackles dealing with pain & self-medication in new single ‘Betray Myself’

St. Louis-based singer-songwriter Malena Smith has unveiled her new single, ‘Betray Myself.’ “I started writing ‘Betray Myself’ five weeks before I woke up hungover for the last time,” Smith explains. “I was on day four of a solo road trip and turned on a podcast episode of Unlocking Us with Brené Brown featuring her guest, Glennon Doyle. I hated crying – whether in front of others or by myself” she adds. “Yet somehow, maybe 45 minutes into listening to this 65-minute podcast, I had cried at least three different times. I actually found myself shedding a lot of tears in the first four days of this trip and I couldn’t figure out why.”

During the episode, the topic of pain came up – the two women, who both are years sober, discussed how humans need pain, and we do ourselves a disservice when we distract ourselves to avoid feeling our pain. “There are different types of pain, and when we allow ourselves to feel it intimately, to its fullest extent, we then can discern exactly what type of pain we are feeling,” Smith recalls. “The next three words I heard hit me like a tsunami-level wind: Self-betrayal pain. I had never heard betrayal mentioned in a context that didn’t involve at least two parties. Self-betrayal pain. The first line of ‘Betray Myself’ came to me instantly.”

Smith says she spent most of her late teens and 20s repeating the same mistakes and hoping for different results each time. “Of course, I can stop drinking tonight at just two drinks. Of course, I can involve myself in an unhealthy relationship and not get hurt. Rinse and repeat,” she says. “‘Betray Myself’ was my defining realization of the ways in which I was self-sabotaging, self-neglecting, self-repressing, self-doubting, and of course, self-betraying. Five weeks later, I cut alcohol out of my life.”

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