Justin Bieber has joined the ranks of child stars who have opened up about the struggles of growing up a child star. While he’s opened up in the past, this time feels more serious, as he’s delved deeper into issues of addiction and depression.
Bieber’s new documentary series “Seasons” shows a vulnerable youth trying to come to terms with his life, a much different vision of the star than most if any are used to seeing. In the episode Bieber explains that his drug use began with marijuana when he was “12 or 13” years old. This became a heavy dependence and then he explains how this led him to alcohol, taking pills, psychedelic mushrooms, “everything.” Bieber said that he needed to become sober once it felt like he was dying. As he recounts security coming into his room at night to take his pulse, or how he would wake up and smoke or pop pills first thing in the morning, he says that “people don’t know how serious it got. It was legit crazy scary.” Coming from Bieber, this is a huge revelation that disrupts the fun loving, wild party of stardom. Bieber said that “It might not seem that hard to some people to just get out of bed in the morning, but it’s been really hard for me to just get out of my bed…I just want to say you’re not there alone in that… Life is worth living.” Bieber believes his upbringing in the spotlight led him down this path, and his parents have admitted that they didn’t raise him with tools to “be a good team player.” He recounted that by age 18 even though he had reached wide success and amassed millions of dollars, he felt he had no real-world skills and didn’t know how life worked.
Unfortunately, Bieber also faces health issues such as being diagnosed with Lyme Disease and “Chronic Mono”, which will be touched on more in the documentary “Seasons” and his new album “Changes.” The public is being shown a more mature Bieber who is becoming candid about his mental health and physical health issues, as well as addictions and what led him to dark places. Despite his hardships, he’s trying to have a positive outlook by saying “my past, my mistakes, all the things that I’ve been through. I believe that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and God has me right where he wants me.”
Thus, Bieber’s narrative is not one of self-pity or defeat. Rather, it is a narrative of trying to let go of the past and move forward toward the future. He’s acknowledged past mistakes and poor behaviors and he wants to take his life back from the drugs that were claiming it. Addiction is something that can take hold of anyone, whether celebrity or not. We can only hope Bieber can continue on in his path of sobriety and find what he’s looking for.