LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) — “I have spent days skipping meals in order to make sure I have enough. To make sure my children and my wife have enough,“ is something many would never think a past American Idol finalist would say.

The curly haired, runner-up during American Idol’s inaugural season, Justin Guarini speaks to fans in an open letter about his struggle from star status to dealing with a life of normalcy. Guarini takes readers down memory lane when he couldn’t walk down the street without fans stopping him and to now people barely recognizing him.

He talks about all the money he made, having a flashy car that matched his outfit and ego.

“I’ll smile, and laugh, and joke, and entertain…because sometimes it’s the only way to keep the ghosts of regret and loss at bay,” Guarini writes. “I am afraid to be afraid, and in that fear I gather strength.”

He is an example of the lyrics, “Started from the bottom now we here,” except, according to this letter, he is at the bottom again.

Guarini states: “My ego, is blessedly humble (still sizeable, as I think it should be for everyone…but only seeking to respect self, not to put others down in order to raise the self up.)”

At the end of the letter the former Idol contestant speaks about really loving yourself, which is something he also had to deal with during his rise and fall of fame. Guarini says his wife and children is his driving force to keep working through discouraging situations.

He ends the open letter with, “It feels like madness to admit any of this…but I’d rather be outright crazy and free, than seemingly sane and a prisoner of convention.”


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