Friday, February 28, 2014

Her Not So Secret Battle With Depression And Cyber Bullying

The news of Charlotte Dawson's death last weekend was so unexpected and shocking. Literally.  Everyone, not just her friends and family, her industry colleagues and her peers, but everyone was shocked to hear of her passing.  

In my eyes, Charlotte was a woman of strength.  She spoke her mind - whether that be in discussion panels on a tv show, her opinion on who could be the next top model, or on social media trolls.  We were never left wondering what Charlotte thought.  Charlotte was an open book.

I had the good fortune of meeting Charlotte, just once, three and a half years ago.  Both of us were in the 'green room' at Channel 7 waiting for our respective segments for The Morning Show.  A mutual friend introduced us.  I am always wary of people who have no hesitation in letting you know what they think because to me they can seem somewhat intimidating.  So this is what I had expected Charlotte to be like.  Intimidating she was not.  Lovely and friendly she was.  And funny.  We chatted for about half an hour, I'm guessing.  My opinion of Charlotte changed that day.  She wasn't the out-spoken woman with the loud opinions she had been portrayed as.  She was a classy and stylish woman (with killer heels), who spoke with me like we had known each other since high school.

I, like many, felt saddened that Charlotte had obviously decided she was limited - in what to live for, in how to deal with her demons.  She never kept her demons a secret. Over the years Charlotte had spoken openly about her battle with depression and her ongoing battle with social media trolls. She campaigned about both with passion.  It is just so sad that even the strong among us can feel so defeated.  

From shock to sadness, the sentiments from everyone are the same: we lost a good soul when her life ended way too soon.  

Rest In Peace Charlotte Dawson.

If you or someone you know is or may be suffering from anxiety or depression, you can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.  Don't leave it, there's no need to.  There is help.

If you wish to have laws implemented against cyber bullying and bring those responsible to account, please sign the petition for Charlotte's Law 

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