Madison Beer is reflecting on a dark time in her life. In a new excerpt of her memoir The Half of It, the musician shared that she considered ending her life in the weeks after her nude photos leaked online and she was dropped from her label and management at age 16.
“Once, on a particularly heavy day, I climbed over the edge of my balcony in LA and stood there, a million thoughts running through my head as I stared down at the ground, my eyes going in and out of focus,” Beer writes in an excerpt published by People Tuesday. “I don’t think I would have jumped. It was more about knowing that I could — that I had a way out if it became too much. Still, I lingered there for a long while, chilled by the fact that I wasn’t all that scared of being up so high.”
“My little brother found me and screamed for my parents, and as I climbed back over, listening to them all freak out, I was only confused why they were making such a big deal out of it,” she adds. “The thought of killing myself was so normal to me at that point that I had forgotten it wasn’t something everyone pondered on a daily basis.”
That low moment came at a time when she had “retreated more and more into myself” as she grappled with her mental health issues and with difficult changes in her career and personal life. “I felt so backed into a corner I thought the only way out was to end my life,” she writes.
In the excerpt, Beer discusses how being dropped by a label prior to that moment on the balcony took a toll on her confidence. “I went from having the support of an entire professional team and photo shoots on huge, shiny sets to shooting the cover for my next single with a handheld camera in my living room,” she writes.
She also writes that she was in the midst of rebranding herself as a “strong, bad-ass independent female” when she was in her “darkest years.” “I wanted to be a solid, empowering role model for my audience, but in reality I felt anything but,” she writes, referring to her She Pleases EP.
“It took years before I could proudly call myself a songwriter. But the most amazing part about gaining confidence as an artist was finally feeling like my music was resonating with my listeners. I was actually putting out music I was proud of,” she continues. “After bending myself to other people’s wills for so many years, I was doing as I pleased, slowly discovering myself and my own sound independent of outside opinion. I had a long road ahead, but I was taking steps in the right direction. A direction that felt bright.”
Beer announced the release of her book back in February, sharing on social media that she wanted to “reintroduce myself” with it. The book’s title page shows a dedication to Beer’s mother, father, and brother; underneath it she also dedicates the memoir to “the Younger Madison I’m writing this about — thank you for getting me here. I hope I’ve made you proud.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also reach out to the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 confidential text messaging service that provides support to people in crisis when they text 741741.