"I thought I would be more in control of my body and emotions but I get so nervous, to the point I’m almost having panic attacks."
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

3 Apr 2018 - 11:06 AM  UPDATED 3 Apr 2018 - 11:06 AM

Musician Sam Smith has opened up about his ongoing struggles with anxiety and the decision to give up drinking for the remainder of the year.

The openly gay singer told The Sun that he gets "massive anxiety" - particularly in the lead-up to tours and high-pressure performances.

"I really struggle,” he admitted. “I was so nervous at the Grammys this year. I thought I would be more in control of my body and emotions but I get so nervous, to the point I’m almost having panic attacks."

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He continued: “Sometimes I need people who I love around me to tell me, ‘Pull yourself together, you’re being a drama queen — it’s too much now, Sam, so rein it in’.”

Smith said that after a challenging festive season, he was determined to begin focusing on looking after himself and improving his mental health.

"I’ve started meditating now, I am not drinking, I am trying to look after my mental health," he said.

“Mental health issues are coming to the fore because people are starting to talk about it. So many people go through stuff. For me, my music has been my therapy.”

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While he was hesitant to say that he wants to stay sober indefinitely, Smith admits he's so far enjoying the change.

“I’ve been completely off the booze for three weeks now. I never want to make promises but being sober is something I’m interested in," he said.

He added: “When I don’t drink and I’m not smoking cigarettes, when I’m completely clean, I feel so focused and happy."

“I don’t see myself drinking for the rest of the year because of the tour. I am more fun when off the booze — it’s nice. I am enjoying it now and we will see how it goes.”

Smith is currently embarking on a world tour for his best-selling album, In the Lonely Hour.