Last week, Justin Bieber debuted the first four episodes of his YouTube docuseries, which centered mostly around his return to music and his relationship with his wife, Hailey. It was a revealing look at the pop star’s whirlwind life, but he digs even deeper in episode No. 5, which arrived on Monday (February 3).
Titled “The Dark Season,” the episode shines a light on Bieber’s health struggles and past drug use. It opens where the first episode did: in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, with the “Yummy” singer returning to the apartment he lived in as a kid. It was there, he tells the camera, that he smoked weed for the first time when he was just 12 or 13. And while he eventually quit after becoming “dependent” on it, he later struggled through much more serious addictions, like “popping pills” and “sipping lean.”
“It was just an escape for me,” Bieber said. “I was young, like everybody in the industry, or in the world, who experiment. But my experience was in front of cameras and I had a different level of exposure. I had a lot of money and a lot of things, so then you have all these people around me hanging on and wanting stuff from me, knowing I was living this lifestyle that they also wanted to live.”
The episode features interviews with Hailey and with Bieber’s longtime manager, Scooter Braun, who recalled the “turbulent times” and “dark period” that the singer faced as a young superstar who was constantly in the tabloids for his arrests and bad behavior. Eventually, Bieber said, he decided to get sober once he realized how serious his situation had gotten.
“I decided to stop because… I was like, dying,” he said. “My security were coming into the room at night to check my pulse. People don’t know how serious it got. It was legit crazy-scary.”
In 2019, Bieber underwent a series of medical tests and was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr, or mono, and Lyme Disease, an infection caused by bacteria commonly carried by ticks. It was tough news, Bieber recalled, but it was also relieving to know why he was feeling so sick. The rest of the episode follows the singer into his doctor’s appointments as he reassures fans that he’s fully attempting to get better.
“I’ve abused my body in the past and now I’m just in the recovery process,” he said. “I’m committed to getting better because I know ultimately being the best me is going to help me be the best husband, the best father, the best friend I can possibly be. And for all the fans that want to enjoy the music that I make. I can’t do it if I’m not healthy, and I haven’t been healthy for a long time.”
Thankfully, things seem to be looking up for JB. His fifth studio album, Changes, is set for release on February 14, and the new Seasons episode ends with him speaking about the emotional title track. It has a simple message, Bieber said: “Life is worth living. And if you’re not going to give up, then the only thing to do is to push forward.”
The first five episodes of Justin Bieber: Seasons are now available on YouTube Premium.