Mary J. Blige fought back tears during a recent Behind The Music Tv special as she recalled her past alcohol and drug problems.
In the VH1 documentary, which aired in America on Sunday night (24Jul11), the Family Affair singer recalled her previous battles with substance abuse and booze, revealing a once casual cocaine use became a full-blown addiction as her romance with Jodeci star K-Ci Hailey began to unravel in the mid-1990s.
And when she finally managed to wean herself off drugs, her alcohol dependence kicked in.
At the height of her drug issues, she recalls, "I remember going down the wrong way on the Fdr Drive (in New York)... I didn't realise this is how messed up we were.
"(I was) driving this way, the traffic's coming this way. I remember crashing my car into a wall, spinned (sic) out (of control), and my girlfriend was on the other side just screaming.
"I really didn't care about myself; I was borderline suicidal... I was like the walking dead; just smoking and drinking and hanging."
And that awful feeling returned in 1999 when Blige turned to alcohol as a way of numbing the darkness in her personal life.
She adds, "I was subliminally just trying to get outta here. I was trying to drink the problems away and I remember having Seagram's gin sponsor our tour - and I was drinking every single day.
"I don't know what death feels like but I felt like my spirit was trying to leave my body."
In a moment of desperation in a hotel bedroom, she prayed: "I remember saying a prayer: 'Send me someone to help me'."
Minutes later, a producer she had been working with, Kendu Isaacs, phoned Blige and proceeded to let her know he thought she was wasting her life and her talent.
The conversation meant a great deal to the singer - because it was the first time anyone had really challenged her over the poor decisions she was making. Blige fell for Isaacs and decided to turn her back on her problems: "I cared so much about him. I didn't want to just be this alcoholic burden on him... I took responsibility and I cleaned up as much as I could."