Even though Elvis Presley became a household name and icon worldwide, the reality of the King of Rock’s life was far from desirable.
Like many famous musicians, the singer battled demons that nobody else could understand, leading to some dark moments in his life. His wife, Priscilla, was there to witness all of the ups and downs.
Bearing witness to someone’s darkest moments could not have been easy, and Priscilla has spoken out several times about what it was like to live with Elvis as well as his death.
During the 1950s, it was common that celebrities would be enlisted in the US Army. In 1958 Elvis became one of these celebrities. He left active duty in 1960, and by 1964, he received his discharge from the US Army.
While being trained on survival while in the army, he became addicted to drugs; it was said that the soldiers were given pills to keep them awake and help them sleep.
Once Elvis was discharged, he remained on prescription pills for the rest of his life. It was only toward the end of his life that the star developed an addiction to prescription pills and junk food.
The longtime habit had a negative effect on his body, among other things, as it caused his weight to balloon and health to decline.
Priscilla Beaulieu met Elvis Presley when she was only 14 years old. At the time, Elvis was 23 years old. Many saw their relationship as inappropriate, but Priscilla’s parents ultimately allowed her to move to Memphis from Germany to be with Elvis.
Priscilla lived with family a mile down the road from Graceland until she and Elvis finally wed when she was 21 and the singer was 32. Priscilla had admitted that being so young when she got married caused many insecurities that she now realizes were unnecessary.
It has been said that Priscilla revealed that she would not let Elvis out of her sight and that she would even accompany him to get his teeth cleaned. She said that she loved caring for him and ensuring that he was always happy.
The couple seemed blissfully happy from the outside looking in, but their marriage was somewhat tumultuous behind the scenes. After the birth of their daughter, Lisa Marie, the couple seemed to be on a good track.
However, as the years progressed and Elvis’ dependency issues became worse, Priscilla realized that they could not spend more time together as a married couple. The couple divorced five years after their daughter was born.
Although Priscilla and Elvis were no longer married, they were good friends until Elvis died in 1977. Priscilla ensured that Lisa Marie had a relationship with her father and was always there for Elvis when he needed someone.
During his final few months, Elvis’ addiction to prescription pills had worsened, and it was revealed that one doctor had prescribed more than 10 000 pills to the star in just one year. He had also developed an addiction to junk food at the time.
Between his addiction to eating unhealthily and the addiction he had to prescription pills, the star’s health was rapidly declining—however, he maintained his career through shows and TV appearances.
By the 1970s, Elvis had all but lost his relevance in the pop culture of the time but was trying his best to stay popular.
Following the star’s death, it was ruled as an accidental overdose of prescription pills. The lapse of judgment led to an icon's untimely death.
However, those close to the star have said that this could not be further from the truth. Priscilla Presley believes that Elvis knew exactly what he was doing when he took the pills and revealed that he was depressed at the time.
Elvis’ stepbrothers also spoke up to tell the public that Elvis was depressed at the time and that many people were worried about the star. The rumors of depression seemed to be confirmed in suicide notes found after the star’s death.
These details have been spoken about in the movie about Elvis’ life, “Elvis Presley: The Searcher.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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