It’s easy for people to assume that once someone is a well-known entertainer or pop star, life is a perfect dream. Obviously, we know deep down that’s not true, but every once in a while, artists do open up about the pressures and anxiety they face. That’s exactly what Ellie Goulding did on New Year’s Eve this past weekend, letting fans know that despite her many accomplishments this year, she deals with a level of anxiety that leaves her feeling “crippled.” Sharing about these experiences is exactly how people gain awareness and compassion for those of us struggling with anxiety — so kudos to Ellie for her courage and vulnerability in sharing. Check out her full missive below.
Happy New Year everyone…
This past year has been the very best of my life. I became a mother, the greatest joy I’ve known. I’ve had time to sit down with great musicians and writers and made exciting new music that I hope will give people who heart it the same euphoric escape that I experienced when writing it. I have released my first book, performed to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the President and Joni Mitchell (and I can’t explain how grateful I am for that privilege). I have a dog and a cat that love me, I have friends that really love me, and I have a husband that adores and supports me every single day.
But this year has also been the hardest of my life. I’ve struggled daily, nightly, hourly, with a kind of panic I didn’t even know existed. While the moments of being on stage in front of all of you have been some of the most exhilarating and calming, this year I have been struggling.
If I was to really think about it, my anxiety has dictated quite a lot of my life and career, and I feel sad about that. But it has also made me who I am, and sometimes at my most terrified, when I feel there is no escape from the sheer panic and dread in my heart and brain, I remind myself that I can feel. I feel so much and that is how I have got to this place in my life.
I want to tell you this on the last day of this year because so many of you have been asking how I’m doing and often do not get a reply. It’s because I’ve been too scared to admit that the answer is, not very good. I feel something is broken inside — something that has been echoed deeply by the few I have opened up to. This is something so many people have gone through, you may be going through right now, or might go through in the future — and I just wanted to say, and I have to remind myself all the time, that it’s not just you, it’s not just me. Crippled by anxiety.
I know so many of you reading this feel this same pain and at the same time so many of you won’t have experienced it, but will most likely know someone who has struggled.
For those that are in this right now, we’re together and we can get through this — most importantly, by talking. Talking and opening up is the hardest, and the best thing you can do.
Life is a precious thing and seeing Arthur grow every day gives me so much hope. I have so much love and energy for anyone going through this. Let’s get through this together. 2022 is going to be a bright year. Positive energy. Together. Signing off (for a bit) and sending so much love, as ever, to you all xx
She followed up her initial post today with another thank you: “Just a quick note to say, thank you so much to those who reached out (you know who you are!) for all the lovely comments, and the brave stories you have shared with me,” she wrote. “I feel supported and loved, and most of all, not alone! It means a great deal. Hugs.”