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DJ’s struggle with his demons before suicide aged just 28

MEGASTAR DJ Avicii wrote of his heartbreaking struggle with addiction and crippling pain in his journal before taking his own life.

The 28-year-old Swedish music star died while on holiday in Oman in 2018 after years of battling alcohol and prescription painkiller dependency.

Avicii died by suicide in 2018 after years of struggle with addiction
Avicii died by suicide in 2018 after years of struggle with addiction

In new biography Tim, by Måns Mosesson, the true extent of the DJ’s suffering is laid bare in his own diary entries.

Having been told to quit alcohol in 2012 after heavy drinking led him to develop agonising pancreatitis, Avicii – real name Tim Bergling – documented his difficulty accepting the diagnosis.

He wrote: “I had a hard time accepting never drinking again though strongly suggested from all doctors to wait at least a year before even having a beer…

“Of course, I didn’t listen to the majority of the doctors, I listened to the couple who said it was ok if I was careful. I was ignorant and naive and touring the world, still on the never-ending tour – because once you’ve circled it once, guess what?…

“You start right back over again.”

The DJ, whose hits Levels, Wake Me Up and The Nights catapulted him to global fame, spent years touring the world, jetting from one late night gig to the next, all the while grappling with ill health.

The documentary Avicii: True Stories, released the year before his death, showed the visibly pained star claim that his gruelling lifestyle would kill him. So intense was his schedule that Tim found comfort recovering from illness in hospital.

He wrote: “Those days in hospital were the most anxiety and stress-free days I can remember the past six years, those were my true vacations, as depressing as it might sound…

“The relief of going from extreme pain to none, knowing that no one is expecting anything other than for you to wait it out (which is the only way of treating pancreatitis) and then recover was huge. It was an extreme relief considering the insane schedule I had kept up until that point.”

In 2015, a year after his ruptured appendix and gall bladder were removed – the latter in an attempt to help his pancreatitis – Avicii found himself in a $13,400-a-week Ibiza rehab facility.

His family staged an intervention after he failed to quit both boozing and his reliance on painkillers; Tim had previously sought out a private doctor in LA to continue prescribing them for him.

Speaking of his time on the Spanish island, he said: “It needed to be explained to me very logically and caveman-esque for me to truly understand its nature and how it was harming me. Ouch, pain. Why me pain now? Uncomfortable feeling…

“Future Tim deal with pain. Future Tim deal with pain better than present Tim because already there’s too many present pains more urgent to deal with.”

Despite quitting performing live in 2016 to protect his physical and mental health, Avicii’s struggles continued.

He turned to meditation in a bid to overcome his suffering and spent hours at a time trying to reach a state of deep consciousness.

“It feels like I am in a new default mode of being which is very new and a little bit scary,” he wrote. “It felt like the fears the last couple of days caused havoc in me, but I remember the tip to focus on my breathing.”

But a friend he’d made while in Oman grew concerned with the star’s methods, noting he would cry, not eat and spend long periods of time in the sun. He informed the star’s dad, but it was too late for another intervention to take place, and Avicii died soon after.

One of his final diary entries read: “The shedding of the soul is the last attachment, before it restarts!”

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