The American musician has revealed that he's suffered from anxiety all his life to such an extent that he was so "scared" of it as a young kid that it even caused him to have ulcers as a result.
"I battled anxiety my entire life – a drastic amount that I've hid. It caused ulcers as a kid … I didn't know what was wrong with me," he says in a new interview with Rolling Stones magazine.
"I was like, 'Why am I waking up and already feel this pressure on my chest?' I'm gonna put on a smile and do this, but on the inside, I'm scared. All this stupid stuff that's in your head and you can't get out," Ray says. "Then I started meeting fans."
He adds: "Those interactions made him realize he wasn't alone in his anxiety. Instead, there were many like him, each working through his or her own moments of doubt, worry and fear.
"I'm realizing, 'We're all the same and this is me'. This is the crap I went through. This is what I battle.
"If I can say it, hopefully it inspires somebody through my music or maybe they see an interview or whatever it is, and they go, 'That's how I feel'. There were times where it wasn't the easiest, and I always try to be on and cool: 'Oh, I've got my shit together'. But I don't."
Michael Ray also opened up about his arrested on DUI and cannabis oil possession charges. He was arrested after his vehicle rolled into another car in a McDonald's drive-thru at 3:30 a.m. in his hometown of Eustis, Florida, back in December 2017.
"I honestly never saw that coming, but with it there was that vulnerability and a side I never had experienced. I've never been in trouble a day in my life. … I'm overthinking, anxiety-driven, so add that on top of it," he explains.
"I was like, 'What the hell just happened? Is this it? Is this going to mess everything up that we're doing?' Everything's going great, and boom, that happens," says Ray. "But through that, I never felt more love and support from fans or from my peers in country music."
My album #Amos is OUT. I have so many people to thank for making this a reality. But most importantly you.. the fans. Thank you for loving country music and for your energy and passion. You fire me up day after day and I’m so grateful for your support. https://t.co/Xmn5dJSo7j pic.twitter.com/9WS6aCQt5S— Michael Ray (@Michaelraymusic) June 1, 2018