Growing up in the spotlight has its advantages — fame, money, skipping school (you know, the good stuff!). It also has its drawbacks, as any former child star will tell you. That’s why it came as little surprise when Liam Payne, a one-time member of One Direction, spoke on the trauma of young stardom. For those that might not remember, One Direction was the most popular boy band in the world. The brainchild of Simon Cowell, the five boys were thrust together as contestants on “The X Factor.” Soon enough, they were winning awards, making documentaries, releasing platinum albums, and occasionally dating Taylor Swift (well, Harry Styles was anyway).
The band composed of Styles, Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik broke up in 2015. The boys went on to pursue their independent musical interests to varying degrees of success. Payne released a solo album, “LP1”, in 2019, but his career has been less stable than some of his former bandmates. After a tumultuous year, in which he got engaged and then split from his fiance, Payne recently opened up about the struggles he’s faced since achieving the kind of fame and fortune of which most people only dream.
Read on to see what he said.
Liam Payne said he needs to work on himself
During a June 7 appearance on the Diary of a CEO podcast, Liam Payne spoke candidly about the mental health and addiction issues he faced while touring with One Direction. “My face was 10 times bigger than it is now,” he said (via The Daily Mail). ” … There were a few pictures of me on a boat and … I call it my pills-and-booze face. The problem was, the best way to secure us was to lock us in our rooms, and what is in the room? A mini-bar. So I had a party-for-one that seemed to carry on for years,” he added.
Payne further described how his addiction was coupled with severe mental health issues, including “severe” suicidal ideation. He was reportedly on a good path for a while, but relapsed during the lockdown, which played a big role in his decision to break off his engagement to Maya Henry. “I just wasn’t giving a very good version of me anymore, that I didn’t appreciate and I didn’t like being. I can honestly say I feel better out of it.”
Payne ended the emotional interview by reaffirming his commitment to work on himself. “I’ve just not been very good at relationships. And I know what my pattern of things is with relationships at this point,” he said. “… I just need to work on myself before I put myself on to somebody else.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
If you or someone you know are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to speak with a trained counselor who can help.
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