Jessica Mauboy made headlines when she pulled out of singing the national anthem at last year’s Melbourne Cup because she suffered a panic attack.
Now, nearly four months later, she has opened up about her ongoing battle with anxiety in the March issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.
“I’d never felt anything like that before,” she tells The Weekly.
“It was so debilitating. I just felt I couldn’t go on. It was also very disappointing because I didn’t want to let people down.
“My music is my dreaming, where I usually feel calm and safe. At that moment, I felt unsafe and uncomfortable for the first time ever. It was a wake-up call that I had to sort it out.”
It was such an “extreme” situation that Jessica instantly sought the help of a counsellor.
“It felt ridiculous going to see someone to talk about at first, but doing that was probably the best thing because I realised that what happened to me was real,” she says.
“I needed to step back and acknowledge that this was something in my life that I couldn’t control at this time,” she says.
“It was such an extreme thing. And acknowledging it is the first step. I know now that if it ever happens again, I can’t turn away from it. I have to face it and try to deal with it, and talk to someone about it.
“My counsellor said it could have been caused by anything – by exhaustion, stress, the situation. But one of my strategies is to be constantly aware of how I am reacting to situations, how my body is reacting, and to monitor myself all the time.”
Read more about Jessica’s story and see her gorgeous Uluru photo shoot in the March issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.
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