Andrea Levy (Barcelona, ​​1984) has turned things upside down in her book. From having been the white blackbird of the PP, she has gone on to exercise politics in a municipal format from the Department of Culture of Retiro (Madrid). Once out of the spotlight, she has gained time and peace to tell herself, and everyone who reads her book, about the 12 years of flight forward, of success and recognition, but also of constant public ridicule: the one who went to concerts and then he ended up – it was said that with a hangover and everything – on the television sets. The one who changed boyfriends every week, the one who acted as the PP’s loose verse.

The reality was, however, much more prosaic. Andrea suffered from fibromyalgia and didn’t know it. She was accompanied by unbearable pain and an emotional roller coaster that she tried to mask with anxiolytics. All seasoned with a problematic romantic relationship that she has managed to convert into a healthy and distant friendship. She finally ended up in a hospital bed where a new Andrea has emerged who is now publishing The Usefulness of This Pain (The Sphere of Books) which, she assures, is not about politics.

“That guy takes Lexatin straight,” he often says when he sees some politicians speaking on television. How do you recognize the effects of the drug?

Anxiolytics and muscle relaxants cause dry mouth when speaking, so you take advantage of the waiting times to collect saliva. When I did it, people said that I didn’t control my jaw because I used cocaine… and no. They are symptoms of a medication that many people are taking and normalizing in their lives, that are prescribed with great joy and that have a B side that they are not telling us.

Have you ever talked to the doctors who prescribed your first anti-anxiety medications?

No, but it’s funny because once diagnosed, the doctors scolded me: “You don’t know how dangerous it is to take this without a prescription.” And I told them: “Well, but I haven’t self-medicated.” The thing is, I thought I did everything right, my medications were prescribed to me by a doctor, I bought them at the pharmacy, and Social Security covered them. Everything is normal. 

Do you think we idealize the lives of politicians a lot?

There is a feeling that we are robotized, that we do not feel or suffer, that things do not affect us, and it is not true. All the stress adds up, from being in parliamentary headquarters to entering a television set. And politics is a crusher that can sometimes treat you very cruelly, and that seems to only give you one chance.

How do you get along with the party’s arguments? Does he always say what needs to be said or does he sometimes enjoy being a loose verse?

I believe that politics is honesty and courage, and it can be exercised without giving up your identity. In my opinion, messages arrive better when they are said with your tone and voice. I don’t think excessive vehemence is the best way to connect with people. 

In his book he mentions his chosen family several times. Who makes up that network?

I didn’t know anyone when I arrived in Madrid and I had to learn to trust the people who approached me, and that is not always easy, because when you are in certain positions sometimes people approach you because of interests and you have to know how to identify them. And that has brought me satisfaction and disappointment. I have trusted people who have then been bad and cruel. But I also have friends who have been my network when I didn’t have my family around.

And what does a member of Andrea Levy’s chosen family have to be like?

They don’t have to be faithful, but they do have to be loyal. I have friends who stopped talking to me during my bad times when they wouldn’t let me help, and that’s how I learned my lesson. The people who help you the most are not the unconditional ones but the ones who tell you the truth. 

She started dating Nacho Vegas after eating crab and crabs for dinner the night Fidel Castro died. Didn’t you think the universe was sending you enough signals?

(Laughter) Well, we did meet, and I remember that I told him: Fidel Castro has died! And I didn’t know if he was going to be happy or just the opposite. Our relationship aroused a lot of curiosity because we came from different worlds and, however, the reasons for the couple’s anger were different, they never came from the political side because in some way we both understood politics as the art of understanding the other, not of expelling them. .

Why do you think no one gets out of a toxic relationship? It seems like we’re all going to go through there sometime…

I prefer to be the vulnerable one and not the toxic one of the couple, I am very empathetic and when someone has hurt me I have always looked for the reason to pacify that wound. For me, toxic people are those who do not want to heal the wounds they leave along the way, and leaving corpses in your wake makes you smaller.

What made her stay there longer than perhaps she would have wanted?

Well, sometimes you convince yourself that you have a savior role in someone else’s life, and that’s fine, but you have to set some limits. On the other hand, you have to know how to listen to the sounds of the soul and not get used to living with sadness.

You complain about how much politicians are mistreated and exposed on X (formerly Twitter). Should they go through mandatory digital detox periods?

There are Twitter psychopaths who do not know how to live without generating controversy and controversy. I left because it didn’t make me a better person, it didn’t help me express myself or generate better political content. Many work to stir up negative passions among people and express themselves online in a way they would not do in their normal lives. I’m tired of people who hate me thinking they have to tell me. Because? There is value in staying silent.

He points out that not having a family in his care meant that it was assumed that he would always be available. Do you think those who do not have a traditional family are abused?

It is assumed that if you don’t have children you are always available, and I need time to be with my dog ​​and my chosen family. Deciding not to have children is a right, as is enjoying your free time.

What would you like to do after politics?

Well, writing has excited me and I don’t rule out a second book.

He says that being perfect is no longer fashionable…

Indeed, in these years I have learned, above all, not to be my own worst enemy.