By Pamela Connellan
Head Above Water
Avril Lavigne released her first single in five years after a difficult, and at times life-threatening battle with Lyme disease. Avril is making a return to the music scene with the release her new single – Head Above Water – which she wrote from her bed during the height of her illness.
Lavigne took to social media and wrote a letter to her fans on her Website, announcing her new single (released on September 19), with a full album to follow.
In her letter to her fans, she says she wrote her new single during one of the scariest moments of her life:
“I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down. I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going under water and I just needed to come up for air. Like I was in a river being pulled in a current. Unable to breathe. Praying to God for Him to help me just keep my head above the water. To help me see through the stormy weather. I grew closer to Him. My mother held me. In her arms, I wrote the first song that I am releasing to tell my story…”
Five long years have passed since her last album
Lavigne writes in her letter:
“Five years have gone by since I released my last album. I spent the last few years at home sick fighting Lyme Disease. Those were the worst years of my life as I went through both physical and emotional battles.
“I was able to turn that fight into music I’m really proud of. I wrote songs in my bed and on the couch and recorded there mostly as well. Words and lyrics that were so true to my experience came pouring out of me effortlessly. Truly... by keeping my spirits up, having goals to reach and a purpose to live for, my music helped to heal me and keep me alive.”
Being 'truthful' about her struggle with Lyme
Lavigne says it’s been difficult but she’s decided to be honest and 'truthful' about her struggle with Lyme. She adds in her letter that a part of her doesn’t want to talk about her illness and she’d rather be looking forward, but she feels compelled to talk about her illness in order to raise awareness about the severity of Lyme disease.
As part of her mission to raise awareness of Lyme disease, Lavigne started The Avril Lavigne Foundation back in 2010 and this non-profit organisation supports many people affected by Lyme and other diseases. The organisation was founded before Lavigne’s Lyme diagnosis and has grown from its original purpose of supporting children and young people with disabilities and serious illnesses.
The Foundation’s Website provides Lyme disease prevention resources as well as links to Lyme literate doctors, connecting people with providers, who know how to effectively diagnose and treat the disease.
Getting the message about Lyme out there
As Lavigne adds:
“People aren’t aware that Lyme must be treated almost immediately. Often if they are aware, they go untreated simply because they can’t get a Lyme diagnosis! And even when they do get a diagnosis, a lot of times they simply can’t afford the treatment.”
In her letter to her fans, Lavigne thanks them for “waiting so patiently as I fought through and still continue to fight, the battle of my lifetime.”
She adds: “I’m taking my life back into my own hands and doing what it is I know I am meant to be doing in this life time,” she continues. “Making music. And sharing my healing and hope through my music. I wish for this all to touch you, to bring you strength, to lift you up, to inspire and to encourage you…”.
Avril's new video clip, Head Above Water, is here.
Pamela Connellan, Director of Patient Services, Lyme and Cancer Services
Voice: +61 2 9496 4033