John Mayer Needed Time Off to 'Regain My Sanity'
03/22/2013 AT 10:30 AM EDT
"I thought I'd just take a pill and it would go away, but the problem got worse and worse, and grew and grew," the musician, 35, tells Billboard of his health woes due to a persistent throat granuloma.
"I probably had contiguously three, maybe four months of not saying a word. The endurance was tough for me, but I started a new life."
That fresh start included a seven-month romance with pop star Perry and a home in Montana, but the granuloma returned again last fall.
"[I] got to a point where [I] thought we were out of the woods, and then it came raging back," Mayer explains. "I felt I needed to take six months off, just to regain my sanity, really."
After two surgeries and Botox treatment to paralyze his vocal cords, Mayer is finally ready to perform live in support of Born and Raised, the album he released last May. The tour kicks off in July.
"It's hard to believe that I'm healed, but just to make sure, I keep going back every two weeks for a look, and it's the same – if not better."