I also never thought my fibrostic connective tissue disorder marfan syndrome would cause touring to be so hard and painful for me. I always thought the pain would get better one day, or that i would get better too. But this never happened, that day has still yet to come. From multiple surgeries, caused from touring over multiple years, and after cancelling a European tour half way through, this October 2016 finally brought me to my knees. My greatest fear had become a reality… I had 3 tears in my dual sac surrounding my spinal cord, and we discovered that every time I would push down to scream spinal fluid would rush though the tears which was causing me the violent pain every time I’d perform. It was causing my muscles to seize up, and body to contort on stage, and making me lethargic and sore every hour of the day. My doctors and team of specialists had warned me for years of the detriment of my career to my health, but I pushed through anyways. I always pushed through. I had to push through. This is what I love, music is where i found myself. But these 3 tears in my spine, plus a fourth that occurred the year prior, were signs that i was absolutely not able to scream anymore. My team advised me that if I continued to do so, it would cause “permanent and irrevocable damage to my spinal cord and nervous system.” After learning this I realized that I had to step away from Of Mice And Men. No longer able to scream most of our old material, or continue to scream on anything new, I cannot continue on. This has been the hardest thing that has happened in my life for a very long time, but thankfully the band, my family, and closest friends stand behind me and understand. They have all personally seen how much pain I have had to endure and especially the past 2 years as my spine was tearing apart but I kept going, I gave it my all, and cannot express this enough.
The band will now still continue on just the four of them, and I wish them the best of luck without me heading into 2017. I will be here in Costa Rica, where I have now moved, continuing to heal, rest, and write. I will not stop playing music, I am still able to sing and I’m hungry for what is next to come even though I have no idea what that may be. I feel God placed me at this cross roads for a reason, and with the closing of one door, another will open. I’m taking this as an opportunity to grow closer to him, as he is the reason I never gave up or ended my life years ago while facing my various troubles. I have decided to listen to my specialists, and God telling me it’s time to do something new. I have to do this for myself, my health, my body. I’m so thankful my spinal injuries weren’t worse for I could have easily been paralyzed permenantly. I have now made the choice to use my life, my story, and my voice for his glory. To help show his love and grace I have experienced first hand to anyone else searching for the same hope. Of Mice And Men offered hope to thousands, but there is no true hope unless through Jesus Christ (yashua). I have now dedicated my life to sharing this with the world, which needs it so badly right now more than ever.
Some ask how I am not mad at God for taking ali. This from me and putting me through so much pain and loss… My answer is simple: it is my path to follow, my story, and my life is not my own, but a gift from god in the first place. This seems like the perfect opportunity for me to use my story to hopefully inspire others who have experienced pain, hurt, depression or loss in their own lives. We all have our stories, we all have certain things we have overcome. We have done this together, you helped make my dreams come true, and I want to thank you all for the immense support over the years. Now I must do what i have to.
I wanted to keep this news in 2016, because 2017 is going to be a new year, with new chapters. Remember your days are like pages, chapters unread, you have to keep going, keep turning, keep reading… Because your book has no end. Just like the ampersand tattoo on my thumb, we will not fade. You are in my heart and I‘m ready to start a new journey with all of you remaining by my side. I can do nothing alone, and I’m grateful I won’t have to because of you.
Thank you. To everyone who has ever been a fan or a part of Of Mice And Men, from the start, Kameron, Joey, Luke, Ethan, Jared, Jaxin, Phil, Aaron, Joel, Justin, Jon, Shayley, Tino, and Alan, for everything, thank you. Here’s to 2017.
God bless! X -Austin Carlile
Of Mice and Men: