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Suzanne Shaw relied on alcohol and sleeping pills to deal with the trauma of Hear’Say split

Suzanne Shaw has revealed she relied on alcohol and sleeping pills following the ‘traumatic’ breakdown of her pop band Hear’Say in 2002.

The mother-of-two, 39, opened up about how she felt the band were ‘guinea pigs’ in the reality world, due to the fact they were one of the first shows of its kind.

Speaking to The Sun‘s Fabulous magazine, Suzanne said her brain was ‘unable to process the trauma’ of the split and she didn’t her mental health was suffering.

Open: Suzanne Shaw has revealed she relied on alcohol and sleeping pills following the ‘traumatic’ breakdown of her pop band Hear’Say in 2002

Suzanne recently overhauled her lifestyle and is focused on fitness and a plant-based diet, but admitted just a year ago she was still a ‘nervous wreck’.

The singer, who said she now feels in a different headspace, admitted she had only just recovered from the stress of leaving the band and wouldn’t have been able to consider a reunion.

Discussing her time in the band with Kym Marsh, Myleene Klass, Danny Foster and Noel Sullivan, Suzanne said: ‘There was no human resources team considering the psychological impact on our mental health, as reality shows simply weren’t a thing back then. We were the guinea pigs.’

Back in the day: The mother-of-two, 39, opened up about how she felt the band were 'guinea pigs' in the reality world, due to the fact they were one of the first shows of its kind (pictured in 2001)

Back in the day: The mother-of-two, 39, opened up about how she felt the band were ‘guinea pigs’ in the reality world, due to the fact they were one of the first shows of its kind (pictured in 2001)

Suzanne confessed that she repercussions of overnight fame never entered her head as she simply felt she was living out her dream.  

Hear’Say formed on talent show Popstars, in 2000, but they split just two years later when Suzanne was only 21.

She said: ‘My brain could not process the trauma and by the time the group split up, I didn’t even realise I was suffering from mental health problems.’ 

Honest: Speaking to The Sun 's Fabulous magazine, Suzanne said her brain was 'unable to process the trauma' of the split and she didn't her mental health was suffering

Honest: Speaking to The Sun ‘s Fabulous magazine, Suzanne said her brain was ‘unable to process the trauma’ of the split and she didn’t her mental health was suffering

Family: Suzanne went on to meet her fiance Sam (centre) and the couple welcomed their son Rafferty, five (right)

Family: Suzanne went on to meet her fiance Sam (centre) and the couple welcomed their son Rafferty, five (right)

Suzanne added: ‘I was in denial for a long time. I went into a deep place and my coping mechanism became a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol, which numbed the pain.’

The media personality admitted she was in a very lonely and dark place.

A couple of years alter she was left devastated when her ex-boyfriend Darren Day left her two months after the birth of their son Corey, now 16.

Feeling good: Suzanne recently overhauled her lifestyle and is focused on fitness and a plant-based diet, but admitted just a year ago she was still a 'nervous wreck'

Feeling good: Suzanne recently overhauled her lifestyle and is focused on fitness and a plant-based diet, but admitted just a year ago she was still a ‘nervous wreck’

Suzanne went on to meet her fiance Sam and the couple welcomed their son Rafferty, five. 

Suzanne first revealed her struggles with depression and anxiety in a recent issue of Runner’s World, where she said that she only recently opened up about it because she ‘wanted things to change’.

‘I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for more than 18 years,’ she explained. ‘But it was only recently that I felt ready to open up about it because I wanted things to change.

‘For years, I had been hoping my mental health issues would just go away, but it never happened; instead, I was having more dark days.’

She explained: 'When I found instant stardom with Hear'Say, I had a good base level of fitness, thanks to all my dancing and gym sessions [pictured with her bandmates Noel Sullivan, Kym Marsh, Myleene Klass, and Danny Foster in 2001]

She explained: ‘When I found instant stardom with Hear’Say, I had a good base level of fitness, thanks to all my dancing and gym sessions [pictured with her bandmates Noel Sullivan, Kym Marsh, Myleene Klass, and Danny Foster in 2001]

The actress has turned to running as a form of therapy.

‘I now need to run at least three times a week or it feels as if I am missing my therapy,’ she shared. ‘I love it, as it gives me the headspace to deal with what is happening in my life.

‘Since turning to a plant-based diet, daily meditation and a more mindful approach to life, I feel so full of energy. I only wish I had discovered running sooner.’

Suzanne explained that being in a soap left her little time to keep on top of her fitness regime, while being in pop group Hear’Say, allowed her the time to keep healthy.

‘When I found instant stardom with Hear’Say, I had a good base level of fitness, thanks to all my dancing and gym sessions,’ she explained. ‘We must have been the fittest group about, as we were always working out for shows and tours.

‘Back then, fitness wasn’t something I enjoyed but what I did to do my job.

No time: Suzanne explained that being in a soap left her little time to keep on top of her fitness regime

No time: Suzanne explained that being in a soap left her little time to keep on top of her fitness regime

‘When I joined the cast of Emmerdale, my fitness really began to slide. I piled on weight because there’s lots of sitting around and eating biscuits between scenes.

‘Before then, I was dancing in a pop group or appearing in West End shows, not just saying my lines.

‘I gave up alcohol for a year after I had developed an unhealthy relationship with it. Along with eating rubbish and hiding away when I was anxious, I would turn to drink as a quick fix.

‘I became an ambassador for One Year No Beer, where there is a supportive community while you are on its programme. Not only do I now not have hangovers, I also don’t have the self-loathing I had before.’ 

Suzanne featured on the third series of Dancing On Ice in 2008, winning the show. She joined Emmerdale in 2010 but only appeared on the series for a year. 

She was married to DJ Jason King from 2009 – 2012. In 2015 she welcomed her second son, this time with fiancé Sam Greenfield.


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