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Camilla Thurlow says she was ‘socially dislocated’ but Love Island ‘forced her to socialise’

Camilla Thurlow has revealed she became ‘socially dislocated,’ before Love Island which ‘forced her to socialise’, as she explained her decision to appear on the show in 2017. 

The reality star, 31, worked for the land mine clearing charity, The HALO trust, when she was just 23, before deciding to enter the Love Island villa after she was approached by the ITV casting team. 

And Camilla credited the reality dating show for making her a more ’rounded person,’ as she confessed that she previously struggled to hold a conversation with her nearest and dearest. 

Transformation: Camilla Thurlow has revealed she became ‘socially dislocated,’ before Love Island which ‘forced her to socialise’ as she explained her decision to appear on the show in 2017

Speaking on the Netmums Sweat Snot and Tears podcast on Tuesday, she said: ‘I was struggling with reconciling life as I knew it back in the UK with what I had seen abroad, for a long time even before Love Island and that was one of the reasons I became socially dislocated. The truth is there is no reconciling it.  

‘I was going abroad and seeing these awful situations and then coming back and I really struggled with speaking to my friends and my family about it. 

‘When I was away, I wouldn’t really keep in contact or check Facebook or any of that stuff because I just couldn’t piece these two lives together. 

‘And as much as I can understand that was partly because of what I was seeing it was also very unfair on my friends and family, and I would come home and I just didn’t know how to have a conversation.’

Throwback: The reality star, 31, worked for the land mine clearing charity, The HALO trust, when she was just 23, before deciding to enter the Love Island villa after she was approached by the ITV casting team

Throwback: The reality star, 31, worked for the land mine clearing charity, The HALO trust, when she was just 23, before deciding to enter the Love Island villa after she was approached by the ITV casting team

According to Camilla, she noticed her loved ones would distance themselves as they felt they could no longer disclose their personal feelings or problems to her. 

She continued: ‘I also noticed that people didn’t ever want to come to me with their problems.

‘I guess because they felt like I would think well that’s not really a problem, compared to the problems you could have, which is never how I saw it at all because all problems are valid, but I was becoming increasingly isolated. 

‘So, the decision to go on Love Island was more to do with it seemed like I was just going to be forced out of my comfort zone and forced to socialise which was what I was really struggling so hard with at that time.’

The author, who now boasts over 1.6million followers on Instagram, acknowledged the popularity of the hit ITVBe show increased during 2017, and that she wasn’t prepared for the exposure. 

She admitted she still isn’t sure how to ‘feel’ about her time on reality TV. 

Camilla explained: ‘Love Island got a lot bigger that year, so before going in I had no sense of the enormity of it. 

‘I stand by my decision to go into it, it was the right thing to do, I came out of it much happier and much more able to engage with the people around me, but at the same time, I won’t deny that I really struggled with those first few months, and still ever since I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it all.

‘I found a bit of myself that I’d been suppressing; I’m a much more rounded person now.’

Speaking on the Netmums Sweat Snot and Tears podcast on Tuesday, she said: ''I was struggling with reconciling life as I knew it back in the UK with what I had seen abroad for a long time even before Love Island and that was one of the reasons I became socially dislocated'

Honest: Speaking on the Netmums Sweat Snot and Tears podcast on Tuesday, she said: ‘I was struggling with reconciling life as I knew it back in the UK with what I had seen abroad for a long time even before Love Island and that was one of the reasons I became socially dislocated’

Also in the podcast interview, Camilla discussed her experience as a first-time mum after welcoming her daughter Nell in October. 

According to the explosive ordnance disposal specialist, she wasn’t able to say a ‘single word,’ after crying so hard during a call with a health visitor, as she detailed the highs and lows of motherhood.  

‘For so many women early motherhood isn’t understood, even by the people closest to them,’ Camilla said. ‘You get told to enjoy every minute … how many hundreds of people tell you that?

‘And so when you’re not enjoying every minute, which you won’t because it’s just not possible, you also feel impossibly guilty. And to add guilt on top of what’s already one of the hardest periods of time is just impossible.

Experience: Also in the interview, Camilla discussed her experience as a first-time mum after welcoming her daughter Nell in October

Experience: Also in the interview, Camilla discussed her experience as a first-time mum after welcoming her daughter Nell in October

‘In those first few weeks there’s this amazing love and happiness, but I also remember being called by the health visitor and not being able to say a single word because I was crying so hard because I was just so tired.’

The star, who shares Nell with fellow Love Islander Jamie Jewitt, continued: ‘The highs and the lows go hand in hand, that’s what those early weeks are, and it’s so easy to feel like you’re doing it all wrong and your baby is the only one that isn’t sleeping. 

‘I found it so hard when I got nasty messages, I really struggled as those weeks were some of the most vulnerable times in my life. I would take it so much of it to heart. The comments I found hardest were when I was posting stories during night feed and people accused me of being attention seeking.

‘It stopped me wanting to share but we need to be representing what those newborn weeks are really about in the public domain or were leading other new mums to believe in a false dream.’ 

Camilla also revealed that her birth ‘didn’t go according to plan,’ but her daughter is nevertheless healthy and happy, which was always the ‘master plan’.  

The former Love Island star recalled: ‘At the time, straight afterwards, I was very upset – I found it very difficult and kept replaying it in my head. I reflect on it now though and I realise that a birth plan is just a plan to have a healthy baby. And I have a lovely baby, so it did go according to plan.

‘Sometimes you don’t have that control and it’s not worth berating yourself for something you didn’t have control over.

‘Having Nell has really taught me to trust my own intuition. All the way through pregnancy I second guessed my body – I didn’t trust myself as much as I trusted the people around me – and I questioned whether I’d have mother’s intuition.’ 

Hard: Camilla, who shares her daughter with fellow Love Islander Jamie Jewitt, said: 'In those first few weeks there's this amazing love and happiness, but I also remember being called by the health visitor and not being able to say a single word because I was crying so hard'

Hard: Camilla, who shares her daughter with fellow Love Islander Jamie Jewitt, said: ‘In those first few weeks there’s this amazing love and happiness, but I also remember being called by the health visitor and not being able to say a single word because I was crying so hard’


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