“The deepest loneliness is the kind you feel surrounded by loving people. The strongest sadness is the kind you feel around people full joy.”
Those wise words were posted by Above & Beyond's Paavo as an opening to a very emotionally open and vulnerable post on what the artist likes to call “mental fitness.” Suicide and mental health has been a strong topic conversation in dance music, the music industry and the world in general. So many beloved cultural figures, from Avicii to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, have taken their own lives in the last few months. It showcases a deep wound felt across our modern society, and if there is any silver lining to be gleaned, Paavo hopes it's that we can share our feelings with one another to mend the gaps we fill in ourselves and between one another.
“I am personally recovering from my second burn out in life,” he writes. “In part I went that way due to the way I'm wired, partially due to the pressures or artist, personal and family life, and also due to past trauma.” He explains that he sought therapeutic help in January through the Hfman Process, a week-long healing retreat provided by The Hfman Institute Foundation. He credits it for with providing him space to reflect and learn the tools he takes with him to help cope with stress and anxiety in his daily life.
He also thanks the Anjunafamily for being an empathetic and open force for himself and each other.
“Us sharing our stories won't bring back loved ones we already lost,” he continues, “but may inspire others out there to open up about their own struggles.”
He closes his letter with his term “mental fitness,” because he sees stability and happiness as something we can “train, work at, and get better at.” Read his full letter to friends, family and fans below. If you or anyone you know may be suffering from suicidal thoughts or feelings, there is help online at the suicide prevention lifeline or by calling 1-800-273-8255 all hours the day and night.