The ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ hitmaker credits fatherhood with helping him grow up and readjust his priorities in life after struggling to understand ‘the real point of life.’
AceShowbiz –James Arthur confesses he grew up “overnight” after welcoming his first child into the world. The “Say You Won’t Let Go” hitmaker welcomed his first child, baby daughter Emily – whom he has with Jessica Grist – in November, and the little one has given his life purpose and meaning.
“As soon as she was born I felt like I grew up overnight. People often say I’m emotionally intelligent, but I failed to really understand what the real point of life was. I had this unhealthy obsession with just wanting to be recognised for my music. Now I’ve got Emily, I realise my whole motivation has changed. I’m super happy with life,” he explained to OK! magazine.
What’s more, the 35-year-old singer – who has been open about his battles with depression that nearly derailed his career – says being a dad has stopped his mental health “spiraling” out of control, though he still suffers from panic attacks.
Asked if he’s in a happier place, he said, “I am, but I realise depression is something very real and it never really goes away. I would be lying if I said I don’t have some very bad days. I still suffer from panic attacks – I think I always will.”
“One thing I would say is that I’ve never felt better equipped to deal with those dark days as I do now. I’m 35 years old and now I’m a dad with a baby girl so I’ve begun to learn how not to let it take me over. I don’t spiral the way I used to. It’s much more manageable.”
The couple tragically lost their unborn child after Jess suffered an ectopic pregnancy. He said, “Yes, that was a very difficult time for both of us. Having her has made everything right in the universe again, I suppose.”
Praising Jess as an amazing mother, he continued, “I’m really pleased for Jess. She’s an incredible mother – she has taken to it like a duck to water, which is really lovely to see. We are both so happy.”
The former “The X Factor” star made the documentary “James Arthur: Out of Our Minds” about fame and its toll on his mental health. Asked if it helped him, he replied, “In a way because at that time I felt I didn’t belong anywhere. I felt isolated and lonely and was still having panic attacks. So during the filming, Jess and I moved back to my hometown of Redcar.”
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