Natalie Bassingthwaighte is an actress, rock star, fashion designer, mum-of-two, the new host of ‘Changing Rooms’ and an absolute pocket rocket. But behind her busy schedule and bubbly personality, the 43-year-old has had to deal with personal tragedy and overcome immeasurable grief. In 2014, her dear friend and manager of 16 years Mark Byrne passed away. Then she lost another close friend to suicide. While trying to process her loss, Bassingthwaighte says she had a breakdown at the start of last year. Here she opens up about how she healed and found herself again…
“I’ve been on quite the journey in the last five years: I lost my manager of 16 years [Mark Byrne in 2014] and then a dear friend to suicide. There was so much grief and I didn’t know how to deal with it.
I had a breakdown at the beginning of 2018; I lost faith in my ability as an artist and as a person. It was a very scary and emotional time.
I didn’t want to see anybody. I took myself off social media and closed down my email. I was broken.
Up until that point I’d just put on a brave face and kept plowing through. Whether I was on screen, on stage or running a business, I’d just put on a mask. But slowly [behind that mask], my life was unraveling.
You can’t keep going and going without dealing with grief.
I needed to heal privately. And I did that with the help and support of my amazing friends and family, especially my friend Elisa [a medium] who really ignited my spirituality and my belief in myself again.
She dropped everything and flew to Melbourne to be with me when I needed her. Knowing she had my back was everything.
Elisa introduced me to meditation, kinesiology, naturopathy, energy healing and Chinese herbs. She taught me that I’m brave and that I’m a good person. She’s a real life angel.
After five years, I’ve finally come out the other side. I feel like a better mum, a better wife and a better friend. I’ve become my authentic self.”
Natalie hosts Changing Rooms on Channel Ten from February 13.