William Michael Morgan no longer drinks, which puts him in the minority of country artists. But when the singer-songwriter ended his engagement with Runaway June's Jennifer Wayne, he relied on alcohol to get him through his heartbreak, until he realized he was depending on it too much to help him cope.
That’s what got me through it,” Morgan admitted to PEOPLE. "When you’re lost in something, when you’re so beat down by something, you think the only thing that you can do is to drown it.”
After several weeks of excessive alcohol, he finally had the wake-up call he needed.
“I woke up and I felt like crap," he recalled. "I just kind of sat there for a minute and I realized everything that was going on in my life at that time.And I said, if I want something to happen … I’ve got to be the one to do something about it, because it’s my life.”
Giving up drinking wasn't easy, but in hindsight, the 25-year-old knows now it was the best thing, for him and his music.
“[It] helped me realize what was important," Morgan said. "It was time. It was a time in my career where we needed to buckle down and get serious about the music again. It was time to be creative again. It was time to write again. It was time to get back in the studio, and that’s what we did.”
Morgan wasn't yet addicted to drinking, but he knew if he continued down the path he was on, it would affect not just his music, but his entire life.
"I quit cold turkey," Morgan told PopCulture.com. "It wasn't like I had a problem. I guess God opened my eyes a little bit and said, 'If you want to do this, you need to really focus on it. Run your business like a business.' So here we are. That's what we're trying to do."
Morgan is already sharing tracks from his upcoming sophomore album with his fans, which he promises will share a personal side of him he has yet to reveal – a decision he might not have made if he was still drinking.
"I've learned to embrace that. I've learned to embrace who I am, and my God, it feels fantastic," said Morgan. "I am more happy than I've ever been in my life. I am. I'm more centered, and I have a lot of that to owe to quitting drinking, focusing on my life, focusing on my music, my little girl, my family, and of course, getting out there and playing shows. That's the best therapy a man could want."
Find music and tour dates at WilliamMichaelMorgan.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Erika Goldring