To all outside appearances, Thalía has it all. Happy marriage to mega producer Tommy Mottola. Two beautiful kids. Fabulous career.

But the Mexican superstar singer has had her share of knocks. She was bullied as a child. Her father died when she was 5, and she is currently battling a debilitating illness, Lyme disease.

In her new memoir, Growing Stronger (Celebra, $22.95), the singer talks about her various struggles and ultimately triumphing over them.

"I wrote this to inspire people," she says from her home in New York. "A lot of times we keep important stories to ourselves, and they really are for telling so you can learn from them. I hope it can make others happy and give them hope."


Thalía, 40, is all about turning negatives into positives.

"I feel like I should take advantage of my experiences. Everything happens for a reason."

Inspiration came after she recorded her latest album, to be released next year.

"I really began exploring myself internally. I wanted to show myself without a mask."

The process of writing Growing Stronger was cathartic. (Aside: she dedicates a chapter to local great Emilio Estefan, who introduced the Mottolas.)

"To put it all down on paper was empowering. I don’t think the word for 'empowerment' in Spanish exists. It was time for me as a woman to do just that."

The disease she caught two years ago from a tick is in check; a recent test of her blood came out clean. Thalía has said she felt close to death during the height of the illness that affects the central nervous system, and it's a tremendous relief to be well. She credits a good diet and proper maintenance.

"I take care myself," says the sometime actress and radio personality. "I eat well and concentrate on my health. Todo bien."

Though life in New York can be crazy, the family lives in the tranquility of the suburbs, the best of both worlds. "If we want to go into the city, we can. We are close enough to return home and have a normal life."

The couple's children, Sabrina, 4, and Matthew, born in June, are doing great. "They are a blessing," she says. "The most beautiful present."

The little one's actually not so little. "He’s grandote!" she says, estimating the baby's weight at about 18 pounds. "Lifting him hurts my back!"

Luckily he's sleeping through the night. "He's very calm, there's no drama. He's my superhero." The siblings get along well. "Sabrina loves him, he's like her big doll."

Despite two pregnancies and a chronic health issue, Thalía still looks great. Her secret? "I try to live a life in balance. Despite hardships or your circumstances, be optimistic in your soul and spirit. Have a good attitude and love your fellow human being."

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