LIFE

Stacy London Admits She Almost Went Broke After Back Surgery And Opens Up About Depression

by Gwendolyn Plummer
Gwen is a writer, reader, hockey fan, concert goer, and lunchtime enthusiast.

As the host of TLC’s hit TV show What Not To Wear, Stacy London was opinionated, smart, funny, and strong — but she spent most of 2017 feeling anything but. In December 2016, Stacy underwent some serious back surgery to help with chronic pain that she’d been dealing with for four years, People reports.

Surgery itself is some pretty scary stuff — but it turned out to be the least of Stacy’s worries. In a recent essay for Refinery29, Stacy admitted that the aftermath of her back surgery very nearly broke her down, physically, mentally, and economically.

Stacy wrote, “The truth is, I didn’t understand the extent to which back surgery would cripple me — emotionally and physically. The time in the hospital alone included some of the most agonizing moments I’ve ever had.” She says she remembers little of the weeks immediately following her surgery because of the medications she was on, but wants to open up about the rest of 2017.

The surgery left Stacy housebound for well over the expected six-week recovery period. Bored and unfulfilled, Stacy says she started shopping to fill the void. She writes:

Without a job to go to, and with a good enough excuse not to, I started to spend money almost mindlessly: I ordered in food twice a day (mostly Bareburger and mostly with the Caviar app). I bought toys for my dog Dora — toys I could barely pick up. I paid for my housekeeper and a full-time driver I couldn’t take anywhere. And after you’ve binged every available Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon series (old AND new), the next logical activity? Online shopping, of course! 

And as Stacy started spending her money recklessly as a way to escape, she also started feeling, as she puts it, “weird.” Paranoia and anxiety took over Stacy’s life, and she realized she was falling into a depression. She writes that she couldn’t sleep, would cry uncontrollably, and felt sick. She later learned that depression is a pretty common side effect of spinal surgery and got some help for it.

At the same time, though, Stacy watched her relationship with her then-boyfriend fall apart, and learned about the tragic suicide of her old college boyfriend. Then, her apartment flooded, and she had to move back home with her parents as it was fixed. All the while, she was running out of money.

But despite 2017 being a hellish year, Stacy persevered and emerged stronger and wiser. She wants to use 2018 to move forward and to heal, in every sense of the word. In her touching look back on the year, she writes:

I don’t know if this new year will be better than the last one. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry. How could things get worse? I honestly don’t want to know the answer to that. What I want now is some glue. And hope is very sticky, indeed.

Check out the video below to hear some more from Stacy, and please SHARE her important words on Facebook!

Photos 1, 2: Instagram / stacylondonreal

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