It was only last March that Justin Bieber took to Instagram to share how his journey struggling with mental health informed his decision to take some time away from the music industry. This time, he used the social media platform to talk about the difficulties he faced when being exposed to fame at such a young age. He even touched on taboo topics like drug use and his misbehavior in past relationships.
He began by reaching out to his followers, writing: “It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning with the right attitude when you are overwhelmed with your life, your past, job, responsibilities, emotions, your family, finances, your relationships. When it feels like there’s trouble after trouble after trouble. You start foreseeing the day through lenses of “dread” and anticipate another bad day. A cycle of feeling disappointment after disappointment. Sometimes it can even get to the point where you don’t even want to live anymore. Where you feel like it’s never going to change… I can fully sympathize with you.”
Then he talked about his personal battles and how facing them at such a young age fiercely affected him. “I could not change my mindset. I am fortunate to have people [in my] life that encourage me to keep going. You see, I have a lot of money, clothes, cars, accolades, achievements, awards, and I was still unfulfilled. Have you noticed the statistics of child stars and the outcome of their life? There is an insane pressure and responsibility put on a child whose brain, emotions, frontal lobes (decision making) aren’t developed yet. No rationality, defiant, rebellious, things all of us have to go through. But when you add the pressure of stardom it does something to you that is quite unexplainable,” he shared.
Being instantly transported from an unstable home to a life of stardom only made it worse. He remembers growing up, saying “you see I didn’t grow up in a stable home, my parents were 18, separated with no money, still young and rebellious as well. As my talent progressed and I became ultra successful it happened within a strand of two years. My whole world was flipped on its head. I went from a 13 year old boy from a small town to being praised left and right by the world with millions saying how much they loved me and how great I was.”
For him, learning to mature while dealing with the fame was nearly impossible. “I don’t know about you but humility comes with age. You hear these things enough as a young boy and you actually start believing it. Rationality comes with age and so does your decision making process (one of the reasons you can’t drink until you’re 21). Everyone did everything for me so I never even learned the fundamentals of responsibility. So by the point I was 18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted. This is a very scary concept for anyone. By 20 I made every bad decision you could have thought of and went from one of the most loved and adored people in the world to the most ridiculed, judged, and hated person in the world!” he admits.
He then delves into the topic of drug abuse, explaining that “being on stage, according to studies, is a bigger dopamine rush than almost any other activity… so these massive ups and downs on their own are very hard to manage. You notice a lot of touring bands and people end up having a phase of drug abuse, and I believe it’s due to not being able to manage the huge ups and downs that come with being an entertainer.”
“I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships. I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me and I was hiding behind a shell of a person that I had become. I felt like I could never turn it around,” he states with honesty.
Despite those feelings of despair, he was able to turn his life around and he attributes it to those whom he loves and who loves him. “It’s taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits. Luckily, god blessed me with extraordinary people who love me for me. Now, I am navigating the best season of my life, “MARRIAGE”!! Which is an amazing crazy new responsibility. You learn patience, trust, commitment, kindness, humility, and all of the things it looks like to be a good man.”
The post ends with an uplifting message for his fans and anyone who took the time to read his story: “All this [is] to say [that] even when the odds are against you, keep fighting. Jesus loves you. BE KIND TODAY. BE BOLD TODAY AND LOVE PEOPLE TODAY, NOT BY YOUR STANDARDS BUT BY GOD’S PERFECT UNFAILING LOVE.”
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