Ed Sheeran Opens Up About Substance Abuse & How His Girlfriend Saved Him

Photo: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock.
Forget that old stereotype of the artist finding his or her muse when drunk or high. Ed Sheeran is here to tell you he can only work on new music when he's sober. That, it turns out, is what saved him from what was becoming a major substance abuse problem, he said on this week's Jonathan Ross Show. His supportive girlfriend Cherry Seaborn helped, too.
"I didn't really notice it was happening," he said on the show, according to People. "It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, 'Calm yourself down.' "
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Sheeran did calm himself down, he said, when he took a break from public appearances and social media last year.
"I focused on work, and I can't work under the influence," Sheeran said of how working on this year's Divide helped him. "I can't write songs under the influence. I can't perform under the influence. So, the more I worked, the less [that happened]."
He also credited his relationship with Seaborn, saying, "We live together now, and I think that was a real help grounding me."
This is not to say he's quit drinking altogether. As we witnessed in Sheeran's Rolling Stone profile last March, the guy still enjoys a tequila or two.
"The first thing Americans say is, 'There's a problem, and you need to go to rehab,' " he told the magazine. "But I don't wake up and drink. I don't depend on drink. I can go without it completely. I just enjoy going out and having fun, being 25. And I think that's a normal thing."
Now it's not drinking that's getting in the way of Sheeran's music, but his seemingly healthier hobby of cycling. He said on Jonathan Ross that his accident earlier this week, in which he broke both arms, could put an end to his career if he doesn't let himself heal properly.
"I tried to say I'll carry on doing the shows," he said, "but they said if I put any more stress on it, I might not be able to play [guitar] again so it's good to be sensible."
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