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Sunday, October 1, 2017 6:14am ET by  

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James Arthur on X Factor Tour: 'I struggled for survival'

James Arthur has spoken to The Sun on Sunday ahead of the release of his autobiography Back To The Boy next week.

After winning The X Factor in 2012, he went on The X Factor Tour.

Speaking about the tour, he said: 'It was a blur in my memory because I was so stoned and drugged up on all my anti-depressants every time I went on stage.

“I was struggling for survival every day and I didn’t even feel like myself. Under my skin, I was still the same frightened, fearful little boy I’d always been.”

Durng the tour he started a relationship with Rita Ora. He revealed his low confidence made him question why Ora was into him. He said:

"I was so puzzled that someone like Rita was actually interested in me. I told myself this couldn’t be real. Rita’s made a mistake. She must think I’m someone cool. This is so confusing.

“Me and Rita met up a few more times after that and had some more amazing nights. ‘I’m in love with you,’ she told me one night. She said it so sincerely I wanted to believe her, though it seemed insane.”

Arthur also spoke about how the antidepressants he was taking numbed him so much that he turned to online gambling to 'feel' again, confessing: 

"If I won I might blow £3,000 on another bet and lose the lot. I didn’t care.

“My antidepressants numbed my emotions so much that I was prepared to take the hit just to feel the buzz, just to feel something.” 

The UK singer-songwriter has now turned his life around, cracked America and is back with the Syco label, complete with a No. 1 single and platinum album, 'Back From the Edge'.

In his bid to help others in a similar situation, he has become an ambassador for the mental health charity, SANE.

Speaking about his recovery, he revealed: "I’d worked hard at teaching myself how to stand above my thoughts, to be aware of them, and watchful of them. I began to enjoy the positive benefits of the moment.

“I’ve learned so much about myself and how to deal with my issues and, because of everything I’ve been through, I’m much closer to knowing who I am.”

Back To The Boy is out on Friday October 5, and costs £20 for the hardback and £8.99 for the paperback.

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