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This post includes mentions of suicidal ideation
Last year, singer Huey Lewis shared that he had been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear that can lead to dizzy spells (vertigo) and hearing loss. Huey said that after first experiencing symptoms in the spring during a show in Dallas, the disease began to progress. He recently talked in an interview with Whitefish Review, a literary journal based in Montana, about how the diseases has affected his life, and that he contemplated suicide:
“This [his diagnosis] has ruined everything. This has absolutely ruined everything,” Lewis, 69, told the Review. “I try not to let it get me down.”
“In the first two months of this, I was suicidal,” he admitted. “I can honestly share that with you. I thought, s—, I’m just going to commit suicide. I actually contemplated my demise. You know, like pills. I figured pills were the easiest way to go. I mean, would I have? I don’t know.” . . .
“This is now a year and eight months, and it’s awful,” Lewis said in the interview. “I can’t hear music. It’s hard enough to hear speech. But music is impossible.”
“The music is cacophony for me and now my hearing fluctuates. I can actually get better sometimes where I think, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can almost sing.’ And I have sung twice in the last two years when my hearing was better. And I sang one song acoustically. But I couldn’t do it for a set,” he added.
Huey said that getting letters from fans has really helped, in the wake of his diagnosis and needing to step away from performing. “The support I get from people, ordinary people, is amazing.”. Huey Lewis and the News will release Weather on Feb. 14, 2020. The album was mostly recorded before Huey’s diagnosis. The first single, “While We’re Young,” is out now.
This is so sad. I grew up in the ’80s, and you couldn’t turn on the radio for 15 minutes in the car and not hear Huey Lewis and the News. (Most likely”The Power of Love” was playing.) I’m glad that Huey has times when his disease is less severe. Still, I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to do something that you love and is how you make your livelihood. I have tinnitus that comes and goes, and most of the time, fortunately, it isn’t terrible, but there are nights when I’ve cried myself to sleep because the ringing is so loud I can’t ignore it. I empathize so much with Huey, and I’m glad that contact with his fans helps. I hope the album release is a great start to 2020!
If you are in the United States and are in crisis and in immediate need of assistance, text HOME to 741741 for confidential assistance 24/7 (http://www.crisistextline.org). You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org).
In Canada, text HOME to 686868 (Crisis Text Line).
In the United Kingdom, call Samaritans, 116 123 (free)
photos credit: Getty