Avril Lavigne opens up about battle with Lyme disease: 'I had accepted death'

'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'

Avril Lavigne photoshoot for new music video

Avril Lavigne has opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease, revealing that the life-threatening illness stopped her performing for years.

They were “the worst years of [her life]” and “the battle of a lifetime”, the pop-rock star wrote in a letter to fans published on her website.

Lavigne, 33, released her fifth and last album in 2013, and she was diagnosed with the disease in 2015.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which can lead to severe mental and physical problems if not spotted early enough - it is usually spread to humans via infected ticks and typically treated by antibiotics, allowing most people to recover within a few months.

Lavigne, however, was not so fortunate.

“I spent the last few years at home sick fighting Lyme disease,” she wrote.

At one point, Lavigne says she “had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down.

“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.

“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.”

The singer and musician explains that although a part of her doesn’t want to talk about her illness, she wants to raise awareness about how sever Lyme disease can be.

“A single bug bite can f*** you up hard,” she says. “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.”

For this reason, Lavigne has now created a section of her website which will offer Lyme prevention resources.

And now, the singer says she is returning to music, having written her new single ‘Head Above Water’ when ill in bed.

“In [my mother’s] arms, I wrote the first song that I am releasing to tell my story,” she says.

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