Paramore’s Hayley Williams Gets Real About Mental Health Struggle
"I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I didn't laugh for a long time."
She’s found success as part of one of the world’s most famous bands, but Paramore front woman Hayley Williams has revealed that she -- like many of us -- has faced struggles with her mental health.
In a raw essay in PAPER Magazine that was published on Wednesday, the Grammy award-winning singer opened up about reaching breaking point following the loss of a band mate, divorce and financial stress.
Following the dissolution of her relationship with New Found Glory frontman Chad Gilbert, the 29-year-old described going from feeling that "life was perfect" and looking forward to "living happily ever after" to as if "a piano fell on top of her".
"I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I didn't laugh... for a long time," Williams explained. "I'm still hesitant to call it depression. Mostly out of fear people will put it in a headline, as if depression is unique and interesting and deserves a click. Psychology is interesting. Depression is torment."
She goes on to describe that writing for her latest album After Laughter became an outlet for her anguish, a move she credits with "saving her life".
"This is what I call 'Life with AL' -- short for After Laughter. It's a little dumb, but it helps me mark this time as a significant turning point in my life… I'm alive to both pain and joy now. I have my old laugh back... The one that takes over my body and sends me out of myself for a few seconds. And only a couple years ago, I had hoped I'd die."
She then urged anyone else facing their own struggles within themselves to find an outlet -- creative or otherwise -- as a means of release.
"Expression is survival," she said adding, "Write, draw, create something with your hands. Tell somebody you love them. Take a drive, roll down your windows and yell something like, 'MY LIFE IS SO SHIT RIGHT NOW!' Or, 'WHAT DO YOU KNOW? I'M ACTUALLY FINE TODAY!' These are just things to try if the crying and dancing doesn't work."
Upon releasing the essay, fans praised the songstress for bringing awareness to an issue that so many people struggle with on a daily basis.
Paramore’s latest album After Laughter is out now.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.