Breaking Benjamin’s Ben Burnley ‘Still Extremely Sick,’ Says ‘Excessive Drinking’ Is Likely Cause
Breaking Benjamin may be back in action with the No. 1 album in the country this week, but frontman Ben Burnley is nowhere near healthy. You may remember that Breaking Benjamin shut down in 2010 when touring became an issue for Burnley, and the rocker reveals that doctors have been stumped by a chronic condition that continues to leave him in intense pain.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Burnley reveals, "I'm still extremely sick after getting the same answers from some 300 doctors: 'We don't know what's wrong with you.'" He adds, "The last time I was in a doctor's office, I slammed down my medical records, which are as thick as a phone book, and walked out. I'm tired of being a guinea pig. Now I push through horrendous pain and do my thing."
The vocalist reveals that he first became ill back in 2007 and adds, "I can only speculate that it was caused by excessive drinking. I used to be an alcoholic and I stopped drinking in 2007 because I got sick. I stayed up drinking for three days straight. When I woke up I was weak, seeing spots and dizzy and it never went away. I thought, 'Wow, I really did a number on myself. I'm gonna chill for a few days and not drink and I'll get better.' But that didn't happen. It just got way worse."
Burnley says that physicians have tried to treat his symptoms rather than the illness and it's only made things worse. "I have a symptom that is beyond torturous," says the vocalist. "It feels like I'm being poisoned, electrocuted and spun around all at the same time. I'm in constant agony and torture and I also have severe joint and muscle pain."
As for singing and playing guitar, he says, "The muscle and joint pain is so horrendous it distracts me from my other symptoms, so it's relieving in a sick way. Basically, my only relief is intense pain. It's a horrible, horrible condition and if I didn't have the support of all the fans, and if I didn't have my incredible wife and son it definitely wouldn't be worth living through."
When it comes to playing live, Burnley says he uses his pain to fuel him. "I get angry," the vocalist states. "If I'm dizzy onstage, it'll push me even harder. I don't let it peck at me little by little, I charge right through it. And if I go down, I go down doing what I love for the people that want to see me perform."
True to form, Breaking Benjamin have a full tour schedule ahead of them. See their upcoming shows here.
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