"I haven't stopped working since I was 15," the singer, 30, spilled of the time she took off to fight her illness. "Just to have this downtime, this time spent with my family, has been really good for me just to take a step back and look at my life, and really get to see who in my life is really there for me when I need them. I've had a lot of time to just think, and I've never been so clear before, or as close to my family. So there's been a lot of good that has come out of it. And moving forward, I'm really clear on what I want in life."
Lavigne, who first hinted at her health problems late last year, told Billboard that her ambitions have changed as her perspective has shifted. The "Girlfriend" performer is looking at various acting gigs and dished about a surprising new project in her music career.
"I've always wanted to make a Christmas album, but I've never had the time," Lavigne explained. "But now it's like, 'You know what, just do it!' Because that's something I really want to do, so that's going to be next for me."
The Canadian punk-pop star added that she has an upcoming song that was inspired by her "battle" with Lyme disease and "the fight that I've had to put up." She said she had no choice but to speak up about her disease and publicly fight it.
"I feel like I have a responsibility — I can't just sit on my ass and do nothing," Lavigne told the publication. "I need to talk about Lyme disease, because it's real, it's out there, it was a simple bug bite and it could happen to anybody. People need to know about it, because it's not talked about that much and a lot of the information that's out there is inaccurate."
The "Sk8er Boi" singer got some support in her scary time from a fellow Lyme sufferer, Yolanda Foster. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 51, revealed earlier this month that she has helped Lavigne with her illness. "I took Avril under my wing when she first got sick and shared all I know," she said in an interview with Bravo's Daily Dish. "I am so proud of her for going public."
Married to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, Lavigne released her last album in 2013. She told Billboard she is looking forward to returning to her career and is keeping her positive attitude as she eases back into it.
"I'm doing things at my speed and never being too overwhelmed," she said. "I really want to enjoy everything, because life is good. And even though this circumstance is unfortunate, I think there are a lot of positives with it. I'm definitely choosing to view it that way."
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