"I've come to accept what limitations I have, and still have great days," the singer-songwriter said.
Neil Diamond recently got candid about his health after admitting he was initially in denial about his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 2018. The Sweet Caroline singer has sold more than 130 million records worldwide and has received honors like the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, Kennedy Centre Honours, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He retired from touring after his diagnosis and was on the verge of tears in a new interview where he looked different amid health problems.
When asked how hard it was to give up touring, he told CBS News, "Oh, I still haven't given it up, yet. It's very hard." He added, "In a sense, I was in denial for the first year or two. When the doctor told me what it was, I was just not ready to accept it. I said, 'Oh, okay. I'll see you, you know, whenever you wanna see me. But I have work to do, so I'll see you later'."
The singer-songwriter admitted his acceptance of the health condition is still ongoing and that while he doesn't like it he tells himself, "this is the hand that God's given me, and I have to make the best of it, and so I am." In fact, it's only in the last few weeks he's finally accepted the condition.
"But somehow a calm has moved [into] the hurricane of my life, and things have gotten very quiet, as quiet as this recording studio," said Diamond. "And I like it. I find that I like myself better. I'm easier on people, I'm easier on myself. And the beat goes on, and it will go on long after I'm gone," he added.
He also admitted that he's not going to stop singing anytime soon as he "still can sing." He added, "I feel good. It's like, all the systems in my mind and my body are working as one when I'm singing. And it's a great feeling." According to PEOPLE, the singer was spotted in a rare appearance in December where the New York native surprised the audience by singing his iconic song Sweet Caroline, during a performance of the musical about his life, A Beautiful Noise.
While he navigates his health struggles, he previously admitted his wife of over 10 years helps keep him productive. He and his third wife Katie McNeil tied the knot in 2012 and have been together since.
The musician is also grateful for his "pretty amazing life" thanks to singing he said in his recent interview. "And the thing was, I wasn't always able to look back on it and be comfortable with it, smile, feel that I was worth it. I think all of that good stuff is starting to come into my life." The disease also made him confront the feeling of gratitude. "Well, I can't really fight this thing, so I had to accept it, this Parkinson's Disease. There's no cure. There's no getting away from it. You can't just say, 'Okay, enough already. Let's get back to life.' It doesn't work like that. But I've come to accept what limitations I have, and still have great days," he said.
The 82-year-old is now taking "life as it comes to me, enjoy it, be thankful that I've had it, especially having the life that I've had."
Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond opens up to Anthony Mason about coming to terms with his Parkinson’s diagnosis, his career, and the Broadway show based on his life of @beautifulnoise this “Sunday Morning.” pic.twitter.com/zmi7v5YYrk— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) March 31, 2023
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Gary Gershoff