‘Breaking’: Abbie’s brutally honest post
Former reality TV star Abbie Chatfield has revealed how the pressure of the entertainment industry has left her drained both physically and mentally.
The media personality, who came runner up on The Bachelor and was later crowned Queen of the Jungle in I’m a Celebrity... Get me Out of Here!, has detailed her ongoing battle with mental health.
Ms Chatfield wrote in four Instagram posts on Wednesday how she’s still learning to manage the pressures of the gruelling media industry and the expectations she puts on herself.
In the latest cover star of Stella magazine, Ms Chatfield shared with her fans how even on days like the day she did the photo shoot for the publication she can still feel like she’s not good enough.
“Lately my mental health has been the worst it has been in years, the first quarter of the year brought a level of work stress that I had never experienced. I won’t go into details, but all of this led me to having consistently dark thoughts that I couldn’t shake,” she wrote.
She goes onto explain how even though she knew she was in the hands of people she trusted and loved everything the photographer, makeup and wardrobe team were doing, she still felt like crying because of the pressure she’s put on herself.
“The morning of this shoot, I cried the whole way driving there. I often drive myself to shoots rather than taking the car offered to me because it’s the only moment of solitude I get,” Ms Chatfield said.
“The styling was amazing, but I just didn’t like how anything looked on me. So I got overwhelmed, and cried.
“Then I got dressed, and got onto set, put a fake smile on and just tried to get these shots done so I could get in my car and call my manager to cry, before I go and get interviewed, then record a podcast.”
Ms Chatfield has been battling vocal issues for some months now due to her gruelling schedule of on-air radio, podcasting and speaking tours.
She said she knows she should “have a break” but “it’s simply not possible”.
“My commitments don’t allow me a break. My voice right now is so painful when I speak that I cry from the pain sometimes,” she said.
“I had three days of vocal rest, it didn’t help.
“I am so beyond lucky to do what I do for work. I f***ing love it. But I’m breaking.
“I’m currently not speaking unless it’s on air, for the podcast or on tour right now. But that doesn’t help the stress, which I think is a major cause of my voice being so painful. I haven’t been able to just call friends to chat or have a coffee, because I can’t speak.
“I’m on the verge of tears at all times. If one thing goes wrong the flood gates open. I have so much pressure on me all the time to be fun or entertaining or at the very least have something of value to say. It’s draining. Physically and mentally.”
Ms Chatfield said she wanted to share with her fans why she’s been feeling sad not to get sympathy but just to give better insight into the pressures people in the media industry face and how mental health battles can be crippling.
“I’m not trying to get sympathy, I guess I’m just trying to say this is maybe not what you think,” she said.
“This industry. I love it, and I love all my jobs but that’s kind of the issue.
“It’s addictive and intoxicating and f***ing fun. Until it isn’t.
“ And you are commodifying parts of you, and there isn’t much left just for yourself.”
Her fans praised the business owner for opening up, with one stating “being this raw, real and open is actually so healthy”.
Former Bachelor Matt Agnew, who broke up with Ms Chatfield in Africa during his 2019 season of the popular show, shared his support for his ex.
“By dropping our masks and sharing our vulnerability, we show others it is okay to not be okay; that we are all fighting battles that are unseen; that there is nothing wrong with any of us; and that we are not alone,” Dr Agnew wrote on Wednesday.
“Mental illness wants us to feel Isolated, and by talking we help remove those shackles of isolation.”
Former Big Brother star Tully Smyth also shared her support with Ms Chatfield stating she felt exhausted within the industry as well.
“A decade in the public eye, working in social media, I feel like a f***ing dancing monkey that people are throwing money at,” Ms Smyth wrote.
“And my feet are sore from dancing. For what it’s worth, I love you and I think this is the most breathtaking you’ve ever looked.”
Ms Chatfield told her fans she has a week off in July but can’t reschedule any of her other commitments due to contractual agreements.