Britney Spears has come a long way since 2007, when she made headlines for stints in rehab, shaving her head and attacking the paparazzi. The 35-year-old singer just wrapped up her tour in Asia and headed over to Israel, where she performed in Tel Aviv for the first time. In an interview with Yediot Ahronot, an Israeli newspaper, she opened up about her mental health struggles during her younger days.
Referring to her twenties as "awful", she said she felt overwhelmed and not in control of her own life. "My thirties are much better for me. I've learned to get to know myself better," she said.
In case you need a recap: In 2007, Spears had just divorced her husband Kevin Federline and was in the middle of a vicious custody battle for their two children. According to Us Weekly, she spent some time in rehab, where she was photographed shaving off all her hair, and attacked a paparazzo's car with an umbrella. She fled the scene of a car accident and was charged with two counts of hit and run, and in early 2008 was hospitalized under a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold.
"My life was controlled by too many people and that doesn't really let you be yourself," Spears told Yediot Ahronot, according to Harper's Bazaar (the interview was published in Hebrew). "I wrote back then, that I was lost and didn't know what to do with myself."
"There are moments where I look back and think: 'What the hell was I thinking?'"
Still, Spears denies that 2007 was a "crisis" year. "Crisis is a strong word," she said. "Each and every one of us that starts at a young age needs to take into account that you've gotta be balanced in order to stay in this industry and to manage your personal life. Sometimes that's very challenging. I think I was very different back then, younger, not always knowing what's good or bad, very instinctive."
Looking back, she says she wishes she would have had more control over her own career.
"I think I had to give myself more breaks through my career and take responsibility for my mental health," Spears said. "There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn't make myself."
"In that situation, when you're not in control, you become less excited, and there's less passion when it comes to music."
Today, she reassures fans that she's in a "better place" mentally, partly due to her two boys.
"Today I'm at a better place in my life. My kids shaped my personality and filled me. They made me not worry about what was happening to me."
Photo Credit: Getty / David Becker