Mary Forsberg Weiland — mother, model, bipolar disorder survivor and recovering drug addict — beautifully tells the story of her life and her longtime relationship with STONE TEMPLE PILOTS/former VELVET REVOLVER frontman Scott Weiland in her new book "Fall To Pieces: A Memoir Of Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll, And Mental Illness" — written with Larkin Warren — due out November 10 via William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers.
In her memoir, Mary reveals the extreme highs and lows of her life with refreshing candor and unflinching detail. She offers a window into the world of modeling and rock 'n' roll, while at the same time providing deep insights into the drug and alcohol addictions that could have killed her, and her serious, recently diagnosed and misunderstood mental illness.
Mary explains her reason for writing this book and why she felt bipolar disorder was an important subject to address: "I reject the stigma that the words 'mental illness' carry and I'd love to be a part of the movement to eliminate it." She continues: "After my bipolar diagnosis, I read countless books on the subject. I had a difficult time connecting to them because my story often lacked the intense mania that so many people struggle with. I'm hoping that someone who may be wrestling with similar demons to mine can find even an ounce of hope in 'Fall To Pieces'."
Inspired by books from public figures documenting their own struggles — including Brooke Shields' "Down Came The Rain", about a journey through postpartum depression, and Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking" — Mary felt it was important to share her story, despite fears of how revealing her personal battles might affect her family. "Overall, I'm an honest and open person, so spilling my beans came quite easy, but memoirs and motherhood is a difficult marriage to broker," she says. "Keeping authenticity while trying to protect my children felt a lot like walking a tightrope. In the end, though, I was able to write about that challenge too, so the whole process felt like an honest entry in the so-called diary that became this book."
In "Fall To Pieces", Mary discusses:
* A childhood filled with depression, instability, early addictive tendencies, an overdose and a stint in juvenile hall.
* Meeting Scott Weiland, then an aspiring musician, for the first time at age 16 when he showed up to drive her to and from modeling gigs for $8 an hour.
* The Fourth of July party at Leonardo DiCaprio's house in Malibu, where the Weilands arrived in long-sleeved turtlenecks to hide needle tracks and scabs.
* Her frequent calls to JANE'S ADDICTION guitarist Dave Navarro, who somehow always seemed to know where Scott was.
* Scott's marriage proposal, which followed Mary's seventh rehab stay — and the positive pregnancy test that came soon after.
* The "domestic battery charges" that weren't true but that got Scott back into rehab — and the supportive phone call from Robert Downey, Jr. reassuring Mary that she'd done the right thing.
* The "Weiland Wardrobe Bonfire" three-day headline-making breakdown in Burbank, CA in 2007 that led to Mary's ultimate diagnosis of bipolar disorder, successful treatment, and a new life of health and hope for the future. Of the incident, she now says: "I unraveled. I don't know all the answers to what happened that day I just remember my true self watched helplessly as I fell into deep mania. Writing about it certainly helped me answer a few questions… but not all."
Advance praise for "Fall To Pieces":
"Mary Weiland's beautifully crafted memoir takes the reader through the journey that is so very common today, the slow drift into addiction and mental illness. 'Fall To Pieces' is perhaps the most vivid rendition of this experience I have ever come across. Honest, clear, and accurate, Mary takes us into the reality of a world that is idealized in the tabloids. I have always loved Mary and Scott Weiland, but never more than now." — Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of "Loveline" and "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew", author of "The Mirror Effect" and "Cracked"
"Want to take a trip to the dark side and back? 'Fall to Pieces' is a brutally honest and compelling account of Mary Weiland's struggles with addiction and mental illness that will have you on the edge of your seat with every turn of the page. This is a cautionary story that offers hope and solution to these often seemingly hopeless conditions. Brave, bold and unfiltered, Mary's writing injects humor and levity in a way that is both entertaining and necessary, while keeping the focus on the extremely serious and life threatening behaviors that she confronts. Many people don't have the opportunity to come back and share their experiences, and I have no doubt that this important book will help save many lives." — Dave Navarro
"Mary Weiland describes the depths of madness and addiction with surprising clarity. 'Fall To Pieces' is a wild, gripping story, told with intense emotional honesty." — Terri Cheney, New York Times bestselling author of "Manic"