Jessica Mauboy is speaking about her anxiety and the debilitating panic attack she suffered last year at the Melbourne Cup that left her unable to perform.
Mauboy, 26, said she has “never felt anything like that before” of becoming overcome with panic minutes before the performance.
“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,” she told the Australian Women’s Weekly.
“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.”
When Mauboy, failed to take the stage at last year’s Melbourne Cup for a highly anticipated performance, there was fevered speculation about what the hell happened to her.
After all, she’d been spotted at the event apparently perfectly well just before the scheduled show.
One rumour was that Myer, who was a sponsor of the Melbourne Cup, had kicked up a stink because she was wearing a rival brand’s shoes. Another was that Mauboy had become an out-of-control diva.
Watch Jessica discussing her friendship with The Sapphires co-star Chris O’Dowd. Post continues after video…
Her management team quickly quashed that latter rumour and claimed it was the shoes:
“There was a lot going on yesterday and there was miscommunication with her styling team, unfortunately by the time it was resolved the call time had been missed,” read a statement.
However, Mauboy bravely came out and explained to her fans what the truth was on her Facebook page, describing it as the “scariest moment ever”.
After she experienced the attack, she realised it was the wake-up call she needed to seek help.
“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 told AWW.
“I needed to step back and acknowledge that this was something in my life that I couldn’t control at this time.”
Now, she says, she knows how better to cope with anxiety.
“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.”