Hayley Williams stopped eating, sleeping, and laughing “for a long time” as she struggled with mental health issues while her marriage to Chad Gilbert crumbled.
The Paramore frontwoman split from New Found Glory guitarist Chad last summer (17), just over a year after tying the knot, but in a new essay for Paper magazine, Hayley admits they should never have exchanged vows in the first place.
However, the singer only realised how miserable she was in both her personal and professional lives as she struggled to write songs for Paramore’s latest album, After Laughter, hitting rock bottom shortly after bassist Jeremy Davis walked away from the group in 2015 and then sued over royalties.
“I woke up from that crash with one less bandmate… another fight about money and who wrote what songs,” she recalls in the article. “And I had a wedding ring on, despite breaking off the engagement only months before.
“A lot happened within a short time. But then I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t laugh… for a long time.”
She channeled her dark feelings into song, and although she didn’t like the material, it was putting pen to paper which made Hayley reflect on the changes she needed to make in her life to find happiness again.
“Writing kept me alive. Forced me to be honest…,” she explains. “It helped me understand that emotional wellness and physical health are actually related. It helped me realize that I shouldn’t have ever married my ex and that love is not something we can just extract from one other.”
She has since taken control of her mental wellbeing and has been able to put her years of emotional “torment” behind her.
“I’m alive to both pain and joy now,” she continues. “I have my old laugh back, as my mom says. 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.”
Hayley concludes her piece by sharing a little advice for others battling mental health issues, adding, “Expression is survival. You can do it however you please.”