“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it—and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour. And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse,” Sheeran says. “I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.”
"I didn’t really notice it was happening. It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, ‘Calm yourself down’ … It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off.”
The “Shape of You” singer cites his relationship with girlfriend Cherry Seaborn as a major key in helping him get out of that dark place and combat the battle with substance abuse. His new Divide album marked the end of Sheeran's two-year hiatus from music and a yearlong break from the internet. Most recently, he cancelled five dates on his Asia tour after injuring both arms in a bike accident.