Martine McCutcheon takes career break to focus on her wellbeing: ‘No matter what, health and happiness comes first’

The actress admits that, so far, it's been 'life-changing'

Martine McCutcheon has revealed she’s taking a “life-changing” break from work for the first time in decades to focus on her health.

The EastEnders legend, 47, took to her Instagram this weekend and apologise for her recent social media silence. Martine explained that she has decided to take a career break, and said that so far she’s found it to be pretty liberating.

‘Taking some time out’

The actress was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in 2011 and has previously battled Lyme disease and fibromyalgia.

She told her fans: “Hello! I’ve not been on here much. But taking some time out from work and social media was much needed. In fact, it was life-changing. I’ve had dates in the diary for work (and the pressure that comes with that) since I was a kid… I’ve never taken time out of work properly before.”

The post came after Martine recalled a “terrible” hospitalisation where she “could barely stand” due to her chronic illness.

Martine admitted that taking time away was the “biggest exhale” for her health. She added that finding herself has been “liberating” during the process.

“I’ve been in this industry since I was a toddler and to simply have that time away from it all just for me and my health has been like I’ve sighed the biggest exhale! So many of us identify ourselves or our success with what we do. Or what our career is. That’s okay. But there is so much more to us than that. I’m evolving and changing and so is my idea of success and happiness. Finding myself in who I am now, rather than who I am has been so liberating!” she said.

“I’m still learning and it’s both a bit daunting and exciting. Of course, I still have the balancing act of managing my CFS and fibro with motherhood and work and all that stuff but I’m going at my own pace, running my race and I’ve realised the world still spins when you stop and put yourself first. I wanted to share this with you in case any of you feel like you need to put your foot on the brake for a while. No matter what, health and your happiness comes first,” she continued.

However, the soap star said that it’s a busy time of the year and she’s “getting ready” for it all. “Life has a funny way of making you stop if you insist on running. So decide to take care of yourself. Before it’s taken out of your hands. It’s a busy time of year coming up and an exciting one! So I’m building momentum. Getting ready for it all! I’ve just been for my gentle walk with Jack [her husband] today. Now I’m cosying up watching TV with the candles lit,” she concluded her post.

Martine McCutcheon talks about a Second Love Actually
Martine McCutcheon confessed taking time away was the biggest exhale (Credit: YouTube)

Her past struggles with her debilitating chronic illness symptoms haven’t been easy

Talking to Virgin Radio this summer, Martine opened up and revealed how she’s controlled her debilitating chronic symptoms.

She explained: “I’m doing really good. I’m pacing myself, learning as much as I can, knowledge is power, and just doing things my own way to the beat of my own drum, I think that comes with age as well.

“You’re not considered difficult any more if you say in the loveliest way: ‘I’m sorry, I just can’t do that for that long,’ because it is a disability. So it’s great, I feel really good. I am still learning, still discovering, sometimes overdoing it but I’m getting there. I’m getting there.

“I’m the most excited I’ve been about the future genuinely, now that I’ve got things under control, than I’ve been for a long, long time,” she said.

Read more: Martine McCutcheon shares heartbreaking message after family loss as fans shower her with support

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