If you were wondering why you haven’t heard from Avril Lavigne as of late it’s because she was in battle with Lyme disease. It was a fight that got so intense the 33-year-old singer, at one point, accepted death.
Last night Lavigne published an emotional letter to her website, and it accompanied the announcement of a new album and her first song in five years. Lavigne writes that sometime over the last few years she had contracted Lyme disease, something she’s spoken about previously. For those of you not familiar, Lyme disease is an infection spread by ticks—it’s notorious for being hard to diagnose and a wide array of symptoms.
The new song is called “Head Above Water,” and Lavigne said that she wrote it “during one of the scariest moments of my life.”
“I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down,” reads her letter. “I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going underwater and I just needed to come up for air. Like I was in a river being pulled in a current. Unable to breathe.”
Lavigne isn’t the only musician to have a battle with Lyme disease. Daryll Hall of Hall and Oates famously had a battle with the disease. He said it crippled him for years and forced him to cancel a tour. Hall once described the disease as making “you wanna die if you’re not dead.”
Lavigne wrote that she at first didn’t want to talk about how sick she was—the illness left her bedridden for five months—but decided to be open about her illness in order to help other people. To further this goal of helping people affected by the tick caused illness, Lavigne said she is turning her website into a place where people can learn about Lyme disease and connect with “Lyme Literate doctors.”
“I have decided to be truthful about my struggle, open and more vulnerable than ever before. And to be honest, part of me doesn’t want to talk about being sick because I want it to all be behind me, but I know I have to. Because not only is it a part of my life, I need to bring awareness to the severity of Lyme Disease. “
“A single bug bite can fuck you up hard.“
You can read the full letter on her website.
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