Julie Goodwin

Julie Goodwin opens up about hitting rock bottom and reveals what saved her life

“I couldn’t see how to keep living"

MasterChef winner and established chef Julie Goodwin has opened up about the lowest point in her life and addressed the trauma that put her there.

**CONTENT WARNING: This article references suicide and sexual assault and may be triggering to some readers.**

In a shocking interview with Channel 10’s The Project, Julie revealed that she thought about ending her own life, but was saved by two passersbys.

“I couldn’t see how to keep living. I didn’t want to leave my family but I just honestly believed that they would be a lot better off if I did,” she told host Hamish Macdonald.

Julia explained that she hit rock bottom when she was on her way to a football game, and said she wandered away to a park to go for a swim, unsure if she’d come back out of the water.

“I didn’t know where I was walking, I was just walking away from the football game I was meant to be going to. I ended up a couple of Ks down the road in a park,” she said.

It was a small detail, that bought Julia some more time that ultimately ended up saving her life. She was wearing a pair of shoes that were bought by her son, and she couldn’t decide whether she should take them off or leave them on when she went into the water.

“I just couldn’t figure it out, I just thought is it going to be too painful if my shoes are still here,” she said.

“Because my son had given them to me and I just didn’t know what that would mean for him and I knew I was going to be causing a lot of pain but in my head it would be the last time I would cause that pain.

“But I just couldn’t get my head around what to do with this pair of shoes and what would be the least painful thing to do with this pair of shoes.”

How two strangers saved Julie Goodwin’s life

While Julia was debating what to do with her shoes, two strangers noticed that something wasn’t right with her and came up to talk to her.

“I’d run into this young couple and their dog and they asked if I was OK and I eventually said ‘yeah I am’ and we went our separate ways but something told them to come back, they came and sat next to me on the bench and said ‘we just thought we’d hang out with you for a bit, you seem like you could use some company’. And they stayed with me for a couple of hours,” she said.

The time with the strangers stopped Julie from endangering her own life, and she decided to reach out for help. Julie was checked into a mental health ward, which helped her understand her own feelings.

“That was so surreal, how has my life come to this? How was I here?” Julie said she asked herself.

Julie Goodwin and her husband Michael Goodwin. The Project. Ten.

Julie Goodwin’s trauma

Julie has since written a memoir titled Your Time Starts Now, which describes the trauma she endured that negatively affected her mental Health. The former chef school owner revealed that she was sexually abused as a seven-year-old child.

“I’ve written about a way that I was harmed during childhood, the only reasons really for writing that down is, first of all, because it does give context to the breaking down as a teenager and other things that happened, and the second reason is if anyone else has been harmed as a child, abused as a child, to let me be a … cautionary tale, if you pack that away it’s going to come back.

“You can put it in a box and you can put the box in the attic but one day that box is going to open and it’s going to fall down the stairs and make a messy life.”

Fortunately, Julie has found herself in a better place mentally, with the full support of her family.

An old photo of the Goodwin family. Ten.

“I’m so much better, I’ve changed my whole life to be better. Back when things were really bad I thought ‘I’ve got to burn everything to the ground’, and that’s kind of what I did.

“I’ve lost – I haven’t lost – I’ve chosen to leave my radio career, I’ve chosen to close my cooking school and now I just take opportunities that pop up on an ad hoc basis.

“I paint, I swim in the ocean, I spend time with my granddaughter. And the big lesson for me is that everything is a choice and I exercise those choices and my life is so much better for it.”

If you or somebody you care for needs help or information about depression, suicide, anxiety, or mental health issues, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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