Mary Byrne has admitted that she battled suicidal thoughts during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
The Irish star got candid with Ireland AM’s Alan Hughes about going down a “dark lane” when the pandemic struck, and admitted that she was feeling “anxious” about entering into a lockdown again.
“In January we were still doing the play Dirty Dustin and everything was flying and we had February to come along then to finish off our play and March and the next thing Covid hit and I went down a very dark lane,” she explained.
“I got help, I don’t know how I got help, but I just wanted to die.”
“I was walking towards Chapelizod where the river is and that was my plan. I was going down there, on my mother and father who are in heaven, and I was going to just jump in.
“It felt comforting, that fact that everything would end and all this pain and these demons would be gone. I wasn’t thinking about poor Deborah, I wasn’t thinking about my family.
“I was thinking about the pain. It was like an emptiness, it was like a hole inside that nothing could fill and tears constantly.”
Thankfully, Mary instead made a life-changing decision and headed to a nearby pharmacy to get help.
“It was the weirdest feeling ever because I got to the corner of Le Fanu and looked over at my local chemist.
“And I don’t know to this day what made me change my mind and go straight and I went across the road and in,” she admitted.
“Ramona, which is the lady that was standing in behind the counter, she looked at me and the tears were streaming.
“She just ran out, dragged me into the back, sat me down, I was talking a load of gobbledygook… I don’t know what I was saying because she couldn’t hear me, I was spitting everywhere, I was roaring crying.”
“She took me by the hand and brought me into my doctor. If that woman hadn’t had been there and I hadn’t had got that thought, whatever it was, I swear this – I don’t think I’d be here today.”
The 69-year-old added that she was “doing well today, doing a lot better than in March.”
“Mary Byrne is grand today except that now we have a second wave of this Covid and Mary’s feeling a little bit anxious.
“But I also know now that I’m on medication, I have all of the people there around me who I can turn to and I won’t let it get to where it got.
“I am frightened, yes, I am frightened of Covid-19,” she admitted, “I’m frightened of the fact someone belonging to me could get it or I could get it and that’s niggling at my mental health.”
“But I talk to my doctor about it, I ring my friend Trisha and we talk about it because she’s feeling the same and we laugh then.