Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley and his wife Ari are speaking out about her 2013 suicide attempt.
The band rereleased the emotional track “Catching Fire”, featuring Nothing, Nowhere, on Friday. It was written by Whibley about going through an extremely dark period eight years ago after Ari attempted to take her own life.
“This is something that I live with every day. It’s something that he lives with every day,” Ari, 30, told People. “It’s something that is very tangible in our lives. But keeping it between us isn’t going to do us any more favours. We’ve grown and learned everything we can from this experience.”
“If by being honest and letting it out — which is terrifying — we could help anyone at all, one person feel less alone or more understood, then I think it’s absolutely worth saying it,” she added.
After Ari tried to commit suicide, the pair said they just didn’t talk about it and continued to party and drink, before Whibley’s health scare in 2014 which saw him spend a month in hospital for alcohol intoxication after several of his organs began to fail.
They’ve since gone sober together and they welcomed their baby boy, Lydon Igby, in March 2020.
Canadian singer Whibley, 41, said even after they quit drinking, they never discussed the suicide attempt, until Ari left to be with her family in their hometown, leaving the musician alone for the first time in their 10-year relationship.
Admitting it just felt “really lonely and haunting,” Whibley then wrote the lyrics to “Catching Fire”, as if he’d lost Ari forever.
“It was heartbreaking and draining and torturous,” he shared. “And then from that moment on, it just felt like something had changed inside me.”
“At the time, we were both doing damage to ourselves and to our relationship. And at the same time, we both got out of it and saved each other, and are here because of each other,” Whibley said. “And it only grows stronger and better as time goes on. So we both feel lucky and fortunate to have each other.”
“Coming to terms with the fact that it wasn’t just alcohol that had caused all of these issues, that it was just a part of who I was, was really difficult,” Ari, who now sees a therapist, went on. “But because of therapy, I was able to start opening up more to myself and to Deryck. And so he got more comfortable asking deeper questions and more meaningful questions to where now there’s not really anything that him and I hold back from each other.”
“We talk about it in the same way you would talk about an injury,” she said. “It’s a normal thing that we deal with day to day.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.