Imagine your absolute worst teenage moments, the ones that haunt you as you lie in bed and torment you with the urge to apologize to your eighth grade teachers or childhood best friends. Then imagine every one of them was thoroughly documented and distributed worldwide, to linger on the internet in perpetuity. That was Justin Bieber’s experience of child stardom—and in a candid new Instagram post, he revealed its brutal impact, leading him to drug abuse and poisoned relationships.
Justin, who’s been upfront about his mental health struggles, posted a lengthy message to Instagram Monday. “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,” he wrote. “Sometimes it can even get to the point where you don’t even want to live anymore.”
“I have a lot of money, clothes cars, accolades, achievements, awards and I was still unfulfilled. Have u noticed the statistics of child stars and the outcome of their life?” he continued. “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 froma small town to being praised left and right by the world with millions saying how much they loved me and how great I was.”
“You hear theses things enough as a young boy and you actually start believing it,” Justin said.
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He went on to share the ruinous impact of early fame on his life.”So by this point I was 18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted,” he said. “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!”
To cope, Justin said, he turned to yet more destructive outlets. “I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships,” he said. “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. It’s taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits.”
It was the support of his loved ones—including new wife Hailey Baldwin—that helped him turn i t around. “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.”
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Earlier this year, Justin announced that he was taking a break from music in order to focus on his mental health and work on the “deep rooted issues” he was grappling with. Which, frankly, is a break very well earned. Early fame, and the public cruelty that too often accompanies it, can be a desperately brutal experience, as too many child stars have demonstrated. Let’s hope Justin finds the peace and happiness he deserves—and that we learn an overdue lesson about how we treat those in the public eye.
Credit: Emily Dixon