Justin Bieber has opened up about his struggles stemming from childhood stardom, including drug abuse and anxiety, and how his Christian faith and marriage to Hailey Baldwin led to his healing.
In a candid Instagram note to his 118 million followers, the popstar reflected on how achieving fame at the tender age of 13, combined with growing up in an unstable home and having “access to whatever I wanted,” led him to struggle both mentally and physically.
“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, your finances, relationships,” Bieber wrote.
“As my talent progressed and I became ultra successful, it happened within a strand of two years. My whole world 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 much they loved me and how great I was.”
But fame, the “Sorry” singer said, stunted his personal growth, as he never learned the true meaning of responsibility and was never able to develop skills beyond his music career.
“Everyone did everything for me, so I never even learned the fundamentals of responsibility,” he explained. “By this 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,” the pop star continued. “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.”
Bieber admitted that before long, he found himself “doing pretty heavy drugs.”
“I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry,” he said, adding that he became increasingly distant from those who loved him.
“You see, I have a lot of money, clothes, cars, accolades, achievements, awards, and I was still unfulfilled,” he recalled. “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,” he added, before speaking to how his marriage to Baldwin, 22, has helped him move forward.
“Now I am navigating the best season of my life ‘MARRIAGE’ !! Which is an amazing, crazy, new responsibility,” he shared. “You learn patience, trust, commitment, kindness, humility, and all of the things it looks like to be a good man.”
“All this to say even when the odds are against you, keep fighting. Jesus loves you,” Bieber finished. “Be kind today, be bold today and love people today, not by your standards but by God’s perfect unfailing love.”
In recent years, Bieber has become increasingly vocal about his faith and is often seen attending church. He’s also been known to spend time with Hillsong NYC Lead Pastor Carl Lentz, Hillsong NYC co-pastor and worship leader Joel Houston, City Church Pastor Judah Smith, and other influential young Christian leaders.
In a 2015 interview with Complex, the Canadian popstar said that more than anything, he wants to "live like Jesus."
"Not be Jesus-I could never-I don't want that to come across weird," he clarified. "He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, he died for our sins. Sometimes when I don't feel like doing something, but I know it's right, I remember, I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don't have to feel what we should have to feel ... We have the greatest healer of all and his name is Jesus Christ. And he really heals. This is it. It's time that we all share our voice. Whatever you believe. Share it. I'm at a point where I'm not going to hold this in."
Recently, Bieber helped lead worship at Churchome in Beverly Hills, California, and shared an Instagram clip of his performance.
"Sang at church last night. God is pulling me through a hard season. Having trust in Jesus at your worst times is the absolute hardest. But He is faithful to complete what He started,” he captioned the post.
"I also want to thank my wife for being such a huge support in my life through this season." he continued. "It says in the Bible count it ALL JOY when you face trials of various kinds. Sounds insane considering when you face trials you feel terrible. But if we are grateful and worship God for what we do have in that season there is so much power in that. Whatever pain you are going through just keep telling yourself, THIS WONT LAST! Love you guys we in this together."
In a video obtained by TMZ, Smith could be seen taking to the stage to praise Bieber in his gift of leading worship.
“We first met when Justin was, like, eight or something in Toronto and he’s always been a worshiper and it’s a lot of who he is,” Smith explained. “I want to be part of a church where everybody gets a fair shake in using their gift to contribute to the community. Far be it from me to stand in the way of someone who clearly has a gift to lead worship.”