Greyson Chance Details His Turning Point amid Anorexia Struggle: 'This Is Not How I'm Giving Up'
In 2018, Greyson Chance was going through big changes: he had just left school and was returning to the music scene. He had also gone through a painful breakup.
As he wrote songs about heartbreak and became re-accustomed to the lifestyle he had left just a handful of years prior, Chance started to lose weight.
"I remember just telling myself, 'You just have to get through this period of sadness,'" he tells PEOPLE. "'That's why you're not taking care of yourself. That's why you're starving yourself. It's fine. It's fine.'"
But it wasn’t. The 23-year-old was struggling with anorexia.
On Friday, Chance dropped "Bad to Myself," a vulnerable song detailing his battle with anorexia and drinking. "No demon in me that I can't fight, look in the mirror, this is my life," he sings on the track, reclaiming his power.
The "White Roses" singer says some days he would go 48 or 72 hours without eating anything while simultaneously pushing himself to exercise. As he saw numbers drop on his scale, he felt "in control." But just months into his return to music, Chance hit rock bottom.
"I woke up in a hospital bed one morning and said, 'I gotta stop this,'" he says. "This is not how I'm giving up."
Chance remembers going to family events and wearing baggy clothes to hide his weight loss. He avoided talking about the eating disorder with his loved ones, even as he sought therapy.
"I denied it for forever," he says. "I was just blaming a heartbreak. And it took me a while to look in the mirror and say 'No, you're actually battling with this and we need to take care of this.'"
"Bad to Myself" came in 2019 as he mass-toured the United States and continued to struggle with anorexia and drinking. Nearing his hundredth show of the year, Chance was exhausted.
"The thing that was slowly kind of killing me was also keeping me alive," he says.
He realized then that it was time to make a promise to look out for himself. With the help of Teddy Geiger, who executive produced his forthcoming album, Chance wrote "Bad to Myself."
"I told her, 'I wish I believed I was strong enough to have a record like this,'" he says of opening up to Geiger. "And she said, 'You are good enough.' I took that information and I just remember crying on my Uber back to the hotel. That was just such a moment."
The "Honeysuckle" singer acknowledges that he continues to fight the disorder to this day, but that 2020 has been a much better year for his health. He wants his experience to be an example for those who are facing anorexia today.
"Not only do I finally feel confident to talk about it, but I want to create a crack in this stigma and this taboo about eating disorders," he says. "I want people to realize that this is something that's affecting a lot of people."
Just a week before dropping "Bad to Myself," Chance wrote a touching letter to his fans about the new song, revealing his battle with the eating disorder.
"Back in 2018, when I was writing Portraits, I was not in a good place. Not only was I recovering from a tough breakup, but I was also reentering back into music, and I felt nothing but chaos in my head," shared Chance, who had only opened up to his family and friends about his struggles the day before posting the letter. "I was desperately searching for some kind of control. I found that control by watching the numbers drop on my scale as I starved myself day-in and day-out."
"It wasn't until I woke up in a hospital bed one morning that I knew I had to turn things around not only for myself, but for my family, my friends, and for all of you," he added.
"Bad to Myself" is Chance’s third single since dropping "Honeysuckle" in May and “Dancing Next to Me” in February. Chance hinted that "a collection of songs” is set to drop both this fall and next spring.
"I love you. You are enough and I am enough," he ended the letter. "I found an inner-strength through writing this song, and I make a sincere promise to you: I am done being Bad to Myself."
"There's already enough in the world happening so let's just not be bad to ourselves," he tells PEOPLE. "Let's be good to ourselves."
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.
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