Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
February 11, 2016 at 05:42 PM EST

Justin Bieber can’t be an international pop star all on his own. In fact, the star claims, “I suck by myself” in GQ‘s latest cover story where he talks about his relationship with God — and the kind of things he did when religion wasn’t such a big part of his life.

“Like, when I’m by myself and I feel like I have nothing to lean on? Terrible. Terrible person,” he says. “If I was doing this on my own, I would constantly be doing things that are, I mean, I still am doing things that are stupid, but… It just gives me some sort of hope and something to grasp onto, and a feeling of security, and a feeling of being wanted, and a feeling of being desired, and I feel like we can only get so much of that from a human.”

When he says he’s still “doing things that are stupid,” he might be referring to getting kicked out of Tulum’s ruins this past January. “Me and my boys have been doing this thing where we moon each other whenever we take a picture,” he explains. “So [my friend] went to take my picture, and I mooned him. And I guess [the guards] thought that I was being disrespectful to the site or whatever. That’s not what I was doing.”

He goes on to explain that “the old Bieber” — you know, the one that was arrested for driving under the influence and assault on separate occasions in 2014 — briefly returned. “I wanted to smack [the guards] around a little bit,” he recalls. “But I realize, you know what, obviously it looked bad, and it was disrespectful, because I was in their sacred area, showing my ass and stuff.” (Bieber previously demonstrated his penchant for showing his “ass and stuff” in a since-deleted Instagram post this summer.)

But despite his hesitance to return to his wilder ways, Bieber doesn’t necessarily regret about his past. “Everyone, when they start growing up, realizes, ‘Man, I did some dumb s— when I was young.’ It’s not just me,” the 21-year-old says. “If I could go back, I wouldn’t really change much. I think it’s all my journey. That stuff made me who I am.”

Read more from Bieber’s cover story over at GQ

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