Superstar Mary J. Blige appears to have it all together. She is a singer, songwriter, model, record producer and actress who started her career in music by singing background on Uptown Records in 1989. Many, however, do not know about are her struggles with depression, alcohol abuse and cocaine which she attributes to a bad experience as a child.
But she is not hiding her story. On the contry Mary speaks openly about her bad choices that nearly killed her, and shares lessons for others.
Growing up poor and with bad role models
Mary came from a family of violence and poverty. She was molested when she was only 5, leaving her ashamed, feeling worthless, and mistrustful of others. It shattered her life.
When she reached adulthood, she became angry and also turned to alcohol and drugs. This only made matters worse, and she reached the point where she was literally killing herself; she either had to change, or die.
How she turned it all around
With prayer and willpower, she started to turn her life around. Her inspiration was her former husband, Kendu Isaacs, who inspired her to get sober, and the decision to start taking responsibility for her choices.
Although Mary and her husband are now divorced, she says that she is still grateful to him for his influence on her getting sober and clean.
Telling her story in her music
Her newest album, The Strength of a Woman, and her first single from the album, Thick of It, address some of the adversities that she has had to overcome in her life.
During an interview with Billboard.com, she comments, "It's hard, it's a responsibility being Mary J. Blige. I wouldn't trade it -- but the trials and tribulations I could do without. If I could do it without the trials -- but those are the things that make us or break us. And, in my case, I'm not going to be broken."