In a revealing interview the actress best known as ‘Pat The Rat’ tells how our health system let her down in her hour of need
Over the weekend I had the fortune of speaking to iconic Aussie actress Rowena Wallace. As I made my foray into hosting a radio program (I was filling in for Spencer Howson on Brisbane’s 4BC), Rowena was kind enough to join me for my debut.
Little did I know the shocking story she was about to tell.
There have been many reports about Rowena’s financial issues over the years but the Sons & Daughters star revealed how she was let down by our health system when she needed it the most.
Rowena says when the power went out in her home for a long period of time it triggered her clinical depression. Desperate for help, Rowena did the right thing and took herself to the nearest hospital.
As Rowena told me:
“It was like a mini breakdown. It was really horrible. I started all that negative self talk that we do. You’re useless. You’re old. You’re stupid. Your memory’s going. The dogs don’t know what you’re doing.
“And it was scary because in the past, I’ve managed to get back to a positive, balanced position. But I couldn’t this time.
*Listen to the full interview with Rowena in the player below
The hospital was very busy, according to Rowena, and didn’t want to deal with mental health issues. Ultimately she was sent home and left to deal with her struggles herself.
“I was upset, but I didn’t say anything. I just thought, okay that’s how it is. I’ll go home. And I will do this myself. And I sat down and I just went back through my life, went right back to childhood. And I just thought about all the things that had happened to me that I could remember anyway, up to this point. And I thought, okay, I’ve got this far. I can go on now.
Luckily, Rowena found the strength to get through this difficult battle, but the outcome could have been much different.
“It was very weird because I sort of found a strength inside myself that I didn’t know I had. I asked for help. I asked the universe, I asked God. God is I see God. And I just asked everybody, I asked the pictures on the wall. I said, “please help. Just help me”. And it worked it, it was somehow just asking out loud and to myself really and the help came from inside me and outside me. It was an extraordinary experience in a way. And I realized that there is in us we have a personality, right? But there’s also the I in us, the real person, the person that’s always been there that you were born to be. And that somehow I could almost feel that person. It was very strange. And that person called, I, said “I can do this. I don’t have to be like this. I can change this”.”
Rowena Wallace is an inspirational Australian with many more stories to tell. Make sure you listen to the fascinating interview where she talks about acting, being drunk at the Logies and her crazy career.