Mary J. Blige Candidly Reflects on Her Depression in New Documentary About Her Life

Making her 1994 album, 'My Life,' literally saved her life.

Mary J. Blige is opening up about a particularly tough time she experienced in the beginning of her career. On Friday, the rapper’s new documentary, Mary J. Blige’s My Life, was released on Amazon Prime, and in the film, she talks about hitting one of her lowest points—and how she came back from it all.

According to Blige, while she was making her 1994 album My Life, she really was singing for my life literally.

After her career exploded when she released her debut album, What’s the 411?, in 1992, she was “scared to death” of herself, and in the documentary, she shared that she was dealing with depression, substance abuse, and an abusive relationship with K-Ci Hailey all at the same time.

“So [I’ll do] whatever it takes for me to be comfortable—if I need to drink some more, if I need to do some more coke, whatever I need to do to loosen up and try to take this in,” Blige said of her coping mechanisms during that time.

She admitted that Hailey was struggling to deal with his fame, too, and it made for a toxic environment that was similar to the situation that Blige grew up in.

“I’ve had to physically fight for my life a lot,” shes said. “My mom had to suffer a lot of physical abuse as well so, as a little girl, I saw her, this little woman, fighting. So when it all started to happen to me, all I could think about was my mom.”

But then, the time came to make her second album—a time that Sean Combs, who is an executive producer on the documentary, said that they “connected through the pain”—and she had to use it as part of her healing process.

“This was, like, a turning point. This was a decision I had to make to either live or die,” Blige admitted. “Most of the times I was just depressed and didn’t want to live because I didn’t love myself.”

Blige would go on to become one of the most successful rappers in the music industry, and today, it seems like she’s doing much better than she was back then. It’s good to hear her speak so openly about the struggles she faced in the past, though—there’s no doubt it will help someone who has experienced something similar in their own lives.

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