Hi, I’m Sam Campbell, a 30-year-old singer/songwriter hailing from the beautiful Prince Edward Island in Canada. I was born and raised in Belfast, PEI, where my parents still call home. I graduated from Montague Regional High School and completed the Dental Assisting Program at Holland College.
My passion for music has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember, but alongside that, I’ve faced the persistent challenges of mental illness. From a young age, I found solace in the written word, whether it was through poems, lyrics, or general thoughts. Putting my pain on paper became a vital outlet for me.
I always had an open mind when it came to matters of the heart. While I primarily dated men, I occasionally shared a kiss with a woman. It didn’t feel like a burden, but it did make it difficult for me to neatly define my sexual orientation. I suppose I’m just “Sam.” It wasn’t until I gained more experience with women that I fully embraced my bisexuality. I found that I had an equal affinity for both genders, and that was perfectly okay with me. Some may question my sexuality, but the people who matter most in my life understand and accept this aspect of who I am. Coming out was remarkably easy for me, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.
My relationship with alcohol took shape at a young age, and I never quite understood the concept of moderation. My journey through life was marked by various forms of adversity, with sexual abuse at the age of 16, tumultuous relationships with domineering men, constant strife at home, and a mind that could be as tormenting as the external traumas. Over time, I lost control. I allowed my mind and body to be battered and bruised by those around me until I lost touch with who I truly was. Eventually, I succumbed to the numbing embrace of alcohol and pain.
Seeking a fresh start, I moved to Alberta, Canada, hoping to escape the traumatic past that had fueled my addiction. It felt liberating to be in a place where nobody knew me, where I didn’t have to live up to any expectations from my family. I was alone, and I was excited about rediscovering myself.
While my old life remained in the rearview mirror, its shadow loomed large. I became a regular at bars, beloved by the staff and a reliable source of revenue for them. I made new friends and explored new highs. During the 3.5 years I lived in Banff, I transformed into someone unrecognizable. I eagerly anticipated each drunken or drug-induced binge, all while trying to maintain a dental career. I slept at the houses of drug dealers, verbally abused my boyfriend, and even laid a hand on him once. I abused prescription medications. The last time my parents saw me before I got sober, my dad noticed the yellowing of my complexion – jaundice had set in.
But it was during this time that music started to call out to me more strongly. My words became emotions given life, and my voice served as a vessel for my pain to dance upon. Watching bands play at night and meeting the musicians was a thrilling experience I couldn’t get enough of. I yearned for the moment when I could sing my own song to a crowd who would love it, sing along, and dance to it. I didn’t know how to get there, but I dreamed about it with all my heart.
I had been in and out of counseling and therapy throughout my life, but I realized something was seriously wrong when a fight with my then-boyfriend about putting away my clothes escalated into a major confrontation. It was after this incident that I decided to see a doctor and was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. Six months into my sobriety, I made the decision to return to PEI and rebuild the life I had torn apart.
However, after the move, my mental health took a rollercoaster ride. I couldn’t hold down a job for more than a year, bills piled up, and to make matters worse, I was struck by a car multiple times. These accidents left me unable to work for weeks, rehabilitation, counseling, and medication for the foreseeable future. I didn’t handle it all well, and I ended up in a mental institution for two weeks. It was during my stay there that I received additional diagnoses of anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder 2, and an Adjustment Disorder. In the following months, I was also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Despite all these diagnoses, I embarked on a journey of finding the right combination of medication and vitamins for my well-being, working diligently in therapy, and embracing any help I could find. Today, I live a life that is as close to normal as one could hope for, although it’s not without its share of stressors. These challenges are balanced by moments of happiness and beauty.
I’ve started my own cleaning business, dabbled in modeling and photography, and I’m now working to make my music dream a reality. I may have moved to different places and faced numerous challenges, but that dream of sharing my music with the world has remained constant. Thanks to the support of Velvet Code, his team, and the You Do You Foundation, I’m closer than ever to achieving my goal of reaching those who may connect with my music.