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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

10-23-17 | By

Ed Sheeran Opens Up About His Struggle with Substance Abuse

ed sheeran addiction

Ed Sheeran just helped reduced the stigma of addiction by opening up about his own.

It’s been no secret that the past week, fans have been buzzing about Ed Sheeran’s bicycle crash causing two broken arms. He cancelled events and shows of the Asia leg of his world tour. Doctors told him if he didn’t take time off he would never be able to play the guitar again. After all, what would this world be without Ed Sheeran’s fifth appendage of swoonful guitar playing?

Ed opened up about the time of the fall and his recent secret battle with substance abuse on British chat show, “The Jonathan Ross Show“. He revealed that despite his two injured arms, he carried on cycling and rode straight to the pub instead of seeking immediate medical attention. He stated he drank through the pain when the accident first happened and went to the hospital the next day.

Hey Ed, you’re speaking my language.

It Starts Off As A Party

The “Shape of You” singer opened up more about the issue:

“It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off.”

He took a year off before things got out of control and before releasing the best selling album of 2017; his most recent record, “Divide.”

“I never touched anything,” Sheeran said. “I started slipping into it and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.”

How many of us can relate to the “party” phase when we first start using substances? I know I can. It can really take awhile for us to to realize or even come to grips with reality when the “party” turns into just one person.

Ed shares, “I didn’t really notice it was happening. It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, ‘Calm yourself down.’ All the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them,” he said. “Mostly like, substance abuse.”

Is Fame a Contributing Factor?

He also shared about the common issues we see in the public eye regarding fame:

“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour. I focused on work, and I can’t work under the influence, I can’t write songs under the influence… I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am and you can’t lose that over something that you do in your spare time.”

We’re glad Ed has taken some time to regain his priorities, which many of us loose sight of in the midst of our addictions.

He says his girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn as well as his music, was vital in helping him get back on track. “We live together now, and I think that was a real help grounding me,” he said. “I was a 25-year-old in the music industry on tour, so I just needed someone to balance me out. I focused on work and I can’t work under the influence,” he said.

“I can’t write songs under the influence, I can’t perform under the influence so the more I worked the less that happened.” It’s clear to see Sheeran’s time off has allowed him to gain personal insight regarding his struggles.

It takes a lot of courage to come to terms with substance abuse. There’s no doubt it is easier to keep under wraps, however opening up about these issues can really be liberating. We hope Ed’s courage has shown others that they too, can feel safe to come out of the shadow’s about their own. 

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