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Wicked star Nikki Bentley bravely opens up about anxiety battle as she shares Defying Gravity performance

Nikki Bentley

West End star Nikki Bentley has opened up about battling anxiety in a brave social media post.

Nikki Bentley recently led the cast of Wicked as green witch Elphaba before departing the company at the start of 2020.

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In a post on Instagram this week, Bentley shared a video of herself singing Defying Gravity alongside a powerful message about living with anxiety.

Noting that it was her first performance since leaving Wicked, Bentley wrote: "Having to leave Wicked was the most painful and heart wrenching decision I have ever had to make... Elphaba has always been my one and only dream and when I say I never thought it was, at all, possible...well that’s an understatement.

"Unfortunately things happen in life that you have absolutely no control over and my Elphaba journey was cut far too short."

View this post on Instagram

I absolutely loved being involved with @west_endworkshopslive online concert. It was actually quite a big deal for me as it was the first time I’ve performed since leaving Wicked 6 months ago. Having to leave Wicked was the most painful and heart wrenching decision I have ever had to make... Elphaba has always been my one and only dream and when I say I never thought it was, at all, possible...well that’s an understatement. Unfortunately things happen in life that you have absolutely no control over and my Elphaba journey was cut far too short. Anxiety is one of the most awful things I have ever experienced in my life and inevitably it resulted in me having to make the impossible decision to leave the show and role I love and had dreamt so long for....Leaving me feeling like a complete and utter failure. I don’t write this for any other reason other than to reach out and help anyone else in the industry....friends, colleagues etc who are going through the same thing and feel completely alone. I want you to know you are NOT ALONE!!! Mental health is very much real and very much present within our industry and shouldn’t be treated any differently to a physical injury. There is such a stigma that comes with mental health which is wrong and you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit your struggles. I promise you once you open up and talk to someone the light to recovery starts to shine. I am lucky enough to have the most amazing friends, family and agents who have supported me and been there for me through it all and I will never be able to thank you all enough for your support. To @palingsteven @debsjenkins78 I love you both with all my heart ❤️ To all of you at Wicked...I will never forget my time with you and will forever be grateful that I was able to share that incredible stage with you all. I love you all so much and from the bottom of my heart...thank you for everything. I miss you everyday 💚 Anxiety hasn’t and will never beat me...I’m back, I’m 100 times stronger and a 100 times more resilient. I will be green and fly again one day and finish my Elphie journey properly and how I should have done. 💚 So much love to you all 🖤

A post shared by N I K K I B E N T L E Y (@nikkixbentley) on

She explained: "Anxiety is one of the most awful things I have ever experienced in my life and inevitably it resulted in me having to make the impossible decision to leave the show and role I love and had dreamt so long for....Leaving me feeling like a complete and utter failure.

"I don’t write this for any other reason other than to reach out and help anyone else in the industry....friends, colleagues etc who are going through the same thing and feel completely alone.

"I want you to know you are NOT ALONE!!! Mental health is very much real and very much present within our industry and shouldn’t be treated any differently to a physical injury. There is such a stigma that comes with mental health which is wrong and you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit your struggles. I promise you once you open up and talk to someone the light to recovery starts to shine."

Bentley went on to thank her friends, family and agents as well as Wicked fans for their support.

She concluded: "Anxiety hasn’t and will never beat me...I’m back, I’m 100 times stronger and a 100 times more resilient. I will be green and fly again one day and finish my Elphie journey properly and how I should have done. 💚"

You can watch Bentley's performance of Defying Gravity in the video above.

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