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Carrie Bickmore: “I often went to the toilet and... with my face against the cool tiles on the floor just lay there."

Carrie Bickmore is one tough mother. Literally.

In this week’s episode of Mamamia podcast No Filter, Carrie spoke with Mamamia co-founder Mia Freedman about losing her first husband Greg to brain cancer, why she had to lie to the other mothers at Mother’s group and what it was like to be pregnant and have smile through morning sickness on camera for The Project.

Download the podcast here.

“I really, really struggled and for some reason it was worse in the afternoons and evenings,” she says.

“I often went to the toilet and just sat there… with my face against the cool tiles on the floor and just lay there for a second and then get back up and go back out.

“It was hard but women are doing it all over the country, so I thought, ‘I’m not down a mine feeling suffocated somewhere in the darkness, so just get a grip’.”

But it wasn’t the only experience she’s silently battled through on-camera; Bickmore bravely graced TV screens every night while privately enduring the worst fight imaginable.

In late 2010, she lost her husband, Greg – and father of their young son – to brain cancer.

Until this year, she has remained relatively tight-lipped on the personal grief that rocked her small family. But now, she’s ready to talk.

Bickmore says she didn’t want to talk about those private moments, but has realised that sharing her own experience of grief – as she did publicly when asking people to don beanies for brain cancer during her Gold Logie acceptance speech earlier this year – can help others.

“It was a whirlwind and it’s taught me a lot. It’s taught me a lot about myself and it’s definitely changed how I handle myself now,” she says.

Watch her speech here:

Video via Channel 9

“I’ve realised that there is a bit of responsibility there and, for me, it’s lovely to know that through my own adversity I might be able to help one or two or 100 other people. But there’s always a fine line for me.”

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She says her partner, Chris, is a great father to Ollie and their eight-month-old baby girl, Evie, but she felt for him at the Logies when the cameras cut to him in the audience during her speech about her late husband.

“I really felt for him because I thought, ‘You know, what’s he to do? What’s he meant to do right at that second?’,” she says.

“I think anyone that’s lost anyone, or anyone that’s had past relationships and new partners and all of that, I think can tell you that life is like that. I think sometimes the world we see in magazines, and the world we see on Facebook and Instagram, makes everything look so simple and so neat and tidy, and it’s so not like that.

“My world exists with Ollie and Evie, and Greg is still very much a part of it. Chris is there and now playing the role of Ollie’s dad and has never even questioned it or challenged it – it’s exactly what he loves and is comfortable with… and we don’t talk about the fact that Evie and Ollie have different fathers.”

Carrie also reveals she wasn’t originally meant to hosting The Project:

Bickmore says she hadn’t thought much past her rousing Logies speech in terms of raising awareness for brain cancer, a disease that disproportionately affects people under 40, but finally decided a kick-arse garden party with great music and dancing was how she wanted to raise $1 million for the cause.

Now, she’s invited Ed Sheeran, Vance Joy, Rudimental, Passenger and others to the party. You can buy tickets to BrainBeats2015 here.

Listen to the full episode here:

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For more information about Carrie’s Beanie’s for Brain Cancer, click here. 

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