More than three years after his death, Avicii‘s final words have been revealed.
The DJ (real name Tim Bergling) died by suicide at age 28 in April 2018. Journalist Måns Mosesson explores the musician’s life and legacy in the upcoming book Tim – The Official Biography of Avicii, which features some of the Sweden native’s heartbreaking journal entries from his stays in various treatment facilities.
“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,” the musician wrote while at the Ibiza Calm rehab center in 2015 after his family held an intervention. “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.”
In another message, 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?”
The “Levels” artist continued: “You start right back over again. 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.”
After detailing some of the aspects of recovery that were “a little bit scary,” his final diary entry read, “The shedding of the soul is the last attachment, before it restarts!”
In the years leading up to his death, the Grammy nominee faced a handful of health setbacks, including his 2012 hospitalization for acute pancreatitis, which was reportedly caused by excessive drinking. Two years later, he underwent surgery to remove his appendix and gallbladder. By 2016, he was forced to retire from performing live due to poor health.
A documentary was released in October 2017, during which Avicii expressed concerns about his wellbeing.
“I have been very open with everyone I work with and everyone who knows me,” he said in Avicii: True Stories, which was available on Netflix. “Everyone knows that I have anxiety and that I have tried. I did not expect that people would try to pressure me into doing more gigs.”
At the time, the “Tough Love” artist told the cameras, “They have seen how ill I have felt by doing it, but I had a lot of push-back when I wanted to stop doing gigs. I have told them this. I won’t be able to play anymore. I have said, like, ‘I’m going to die.’ I have said it so many times. And so, I don’t want to hear that I should entertain the thought of doing another gig.”
“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. … He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness,” his loved ones noted in an April 2018 statement. “He could now not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace. Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.