The Mighty Logo

Avril Lavigne’s Lyme Disease Fight Inspires First Album in 5 Years

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Avril Lavigne is returning to the music scene, releasing a new single about her fight with Lyme disease. In a letter to her fans, Lavigne announced her song “Head Above Water” will be released Sept. 19, with a full album to follow. The album will be her first in five years.

Lavigne said she wrote and recorded songs from her bed and couch as she battled Lyme disease. “Words and lyrics that were so true to my experience came pouring out of me effortlessly,” she wrote. “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.”

Lavigne said she decided to make new music that is honest about her struggle, and she’s being more open and vulnerable than ever before.

[“Head Above Water”] is also the first song I wrote from my bed during one of the scariest moments of my 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.

Although Lavigne wrote that a part of her doesn’t want to talk about being sick, she said she feels the need to raise awareness of Lyme and its severity. Part of Lavigne’s advocacy will be done through The Avril Lavigne Foundation, which supports people affected by Lyme and other diseases. Lavigne’s nonprofit was founded in 2010, 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.

“People aren’t aware that Lyme must be treated almost immediately,” she said. “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.”

People with Lyme disease are often misdiagnosed because Lyme can be a “great imitator” of other illnesses. Treatment for those with chronic Lyme disease with neurological symptoms can cost over $6,000 whereas treatment for acute uncomplicated Lyme is around $100.

Lavigne thanked her fans for being patient with her and asked them to continue being patient as she finds a balance between work and her health.

“I wrote and recorded this album and to me this is a victorious moment,” she said. “A huge accomplishment. I am very proud and thankful to everyone who waited so patiently and lovingly with me to support this process for me.”

Image via Creative Commons/xdanger

Originally published: September 7, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home