Pattie Mallette has experienced serious ups and furious downs. She overcame depression, and once attempted suicide. As a single mother, she also raised a son who became one of the biggest pop stars in the world. She recounts all this in her book "Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom."
Mallette, who will appear Friday at Barnes and Noble in Fort Lauderdale and Books and Books in Coral Gables, has just released a new edition of the book, this one targeted to teenagers. We spoke with the author via phone earlier this week.
What inspired you to release a teen edition of your book?
With over 2 million Twitter followers calling me "mom," I felt a responsibility to speak to them. I've been sharing my story for years, even before Justin started his career. I wanted them to relate. I have a lot of teenagers who come up to me every day, whether in airports and malls or on Twitter, and they're asking me questions and sharing their stories with me.
What's your advice to someone who may feel suicidal?
In the teen edition of the book, there are a lot of numbers for hotlines and places to reach out. One of the biggest things I advocate for is counseling and sharing your story, and to not keep everything bottled up. Counseling was, and still is, a huge part of my life. I haven't completely arrived, I don't think any of us have, but I am so much more whole and healed in a way that I never thought I would get to this place.
What helped you get through your sadness while your were raising Justin as a single mom?
When I ended up in the hospital for trying to commit suicide, I was feeling hopelessness, depression and anxiety, and I cried out and said, "God, you need to show up and show me what you have planned, because I'm not doing such a good job at this thing called life." Then, I had this encounter that changed the course of my life. Faith started playing a big part around the age of 17.
What would you tell other single moms?
Raising a child as a single mom was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I just want to encourage other single moms not to give up. That it's worth it. Find support groups. I lived at a crisis-pregnancy center when I was pregnant, and I don't know where I'd be today if it wasn't for them.
Do you ever look at Justin's career and think you're dreaming?
Every once in a while, it's a little surreal to walk in the grocery store and see a picture of your child on a magazine cover. But at the end of the day, he's still my son. I changed his diapers. He's not a public figure to me. That's the only way I can look at it.
Pattie Mallette will appear noon Friday at Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., in Coral Gables (305-442-4408), and at 3 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, 2051 N. Federal Highway., in Fort Lauderdale (954-561-3732). Admission is free to both events.