Avril Lavigne Didn’t Want To Reveal Struggle With Lyme Disease. Here’s Why She Speaks Out.

"I was able to turn that fight into music I'm really proud of."

After a few years away from the spotlight, Avril Lavigne will soon be back with new music. In a powerful open letter to her fans, the Lavigne details her experience with Lyme disease, something the pop-punk singer calls "the battle of my lifetime." 

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"Five years have gone by since I released my last album," Lavigne begins. "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."

Writing this new music kept Lavigne's spirits up, gave her a purpose, and — as she put it — "helped heal me and keep me alive." The 33-year-old's first single, out September 19, is titled "Head Above Water," and she wrote while her mother held her in bed during what she calls "one of the scariest moments of my life."

"I have decided to be truthful about my struggle, open and more vulnerable than ever before. And to be honest, part of me doesn't want to talk about being sick because I want it all to be behind me, but I know I have to," Lavigne added. "Because not only is it a part of my life, I need to bring awareness to the severity of Lyme Disease."

To help others, Lavigne — through the Avril Lavigne Foundation — is providing all kinds of resources for those who suffer from the disease she deals with each and every day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme is transmitted to humans through the bite of black-legged ticks infected with a certain bacterium. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a certain type of rash. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your joints, your heart, and your nervous system.

In the statement to fans, Lavigne also announced that the foundation is doing what it can to help speed along Lyme research, and will be launching an initiative for fans to help make sure that individuals affected by the disease will get the help they need.

"A single bug bite can fuck you up hard. 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."

(H/T: Twitter)

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