Sam Frost has lived a charmed existence from the outside looking in.
In 2014, the effervescent Melburnian was chosen as the “winner” on a reality dating show The Bachelor – yes, she was dumped by Bachelor Blake Garvey a few days later, but the following year she has crowned Australia’s first Bachelorette. It was a very positive vehicle for her, and she became popular across the country.
In November 2015, Frost turned her reality TV experience into a radio show with Rove McManus. While the show ended in January 2017 after much criticism and low ratings [numerous hosts have tried and failed to fill the breakfast radio slot vacated by Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O], Frost had landed the role of Jasmine Delaney on the popular soap opera Home and Away by December of the same year.
Despite some negative press, critics and fans praised her performance, and she was nominated for a Logie for Best Newcomer in 2018.
Frost appeared to be thriving in her new work and forming acquaintances and romantic connections with ease in the years since.
However, appearances can be deceiving, especially in this age of edited social media posts.
The performer, who has been candid about her mental health difficulties, acknowledges that she was having a lot of trouble last year.
“I had the job I loved, I had a beautiful home, I’ve got my dogs… and I remember feeling in my core, I’m just not happy,” she tells Mamamia. “I would spend the weekends alone at home with the curtains drawn and I’d sleep all day because I was struggling with my depression and my mental health.
“People assume that because you have a job on the TV or you’ve got this beautiful life displayed on social media or in the media, they think, ‘how can you struggle with mental health?’ But mental health doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can struggle with it.”
Frost’s mental state began to deteriorate as she was isolated and alone, without the usual diversions of work, the gym, or meeting friends and family.
“All of a sudden you’re forced to hold a mirror up to yourself,” the 32-year-old says. “And so all these things bubble up to the surface that you haven’t dealt with. All the dark stuff bubbled to the surface for a few people.”
Frost posted a video on Instagram during this mental turmoil, stating that she had not yet been vaccinated and asking for compassion and understanding for those who were in the same camp as her.
Australia erupted in a conflagration. Both media figures and the general people were quick to condemn the situation. Frost took a break from Instagram (she’s now back) and kept a low profile.
To be clear, she has been properly vaccinated. Before having her vaccines late last year, she underwent a medical procedure that she does not want to discuss.
“We need to be kind and compassionate to each other because you don’t know why people have been making the choices they’re making. That’s my value as a human being. I don’t judge people. And that was essentially what the whole video was about,” she explains.
“I knew quite a number of people who were hesitant to take the vaccine… people weren’t holding the space to have conversations. There wasn’t a healthy discussion being had.
“In the same respect, I can understand people were angry, tired, exhausted and stressed. I know there were quite a lot of people struggling with their own mental health during that period of time.”
One of Frost’s initial hesitations with the vaccine had to do with a friend having a severe adverse reaction that led to a hospital stay. “And that made me go… you know, I think it’s reasonable for people to be hesitant or nervous about a brand new vaccine. And I think it’s unreasonable for people to assume that everyone’s going to come to the same conclusion in the same timeframe,” she argues.
“That goes with all parts of life. I like seeing different perspectives and hearing different opinions. I like holding space and I feel like that space isn’t there anymore. People are so quick to jump on the attack instead of just sitting back and listening, understanding, finding human connection. That’s the saddest part about this pandemic. I feel like we’re losing our human connection.”
Despite the backlash, Frost says he has no regrets about posting the footage. “I have no regrets about everything that has happened in my life. Everything seems to serve a function to me “Mamamia is informed. “I learned a lot from creating the video. I gained a lot of knowledge. I gained a lot of weight.”
The star made a promise to herself in December of last year: she would put her mental health first. That meant leaving her “dream job” on Home and Away and returning to Melbourne after an eight-year stay in Sydney.
“I feel the most like myself when I’m around my family. It’s grounding. It makes me feel free and happy,” she says. “I worked so hard for five years in a job I loved; I absolutely adored it and I wouldn’t change anything. But after being away from my family for so long, I really needed to go home. I feel the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”
Her recently released book, Believe, which goes into Frost’s fight with mental health and the dark periods in her life, is another source of joy.
“I’ve worked on the book for two years. And you go through it thinking, do I want to share this? It’s extremely overwhelming, putting so much of yourself out there,” she says. “It’s all your baggage and insecurities, all the things that you think of that you don’t tell people. It’s all in the book.
“There’s going to be people who judge. But since it’s been released, I’ve received so many beautiful messages from people who have said they’ve read it in two days and it’s really helped them. A few people have said that they feel like they were reading a story about themselves. So I feel like it’s doing its job, which is what it’s all about.”
There’s also a smidgeon of romanticism in the air. Frost is dating Jordie Hansen, a Survivor Australia contestant and a friend of her brother’s. Hansen had been seeing someone for a couple of weeks when they met, and Frost had been seeing someone casually as well, so the timing wasn’t ideal. It didn’t work out with the people they were seeing for both of them… and the rest is history.
“We’re just really happy,” Frost says, laughing. “I feel like he’s coming to my life at a really great time… We laugh a lot. We got to know each other first, before anything happened. We realised we had a lot of similar values. Family is really important to us. We’ve had really similar upbringings. It’s just really nice to have someone who you feel like is your match, you know?
“All my friends and family just absolutely love him. And when they see us together, they’re like, you two are perfect for each other.”
As for her acting career, she’s keeping an open mind. “I love acting. I want to keep auditioning. At the moment, I’m just focusing on my book,” Frost says.
“But the fun part about life is you just never know. You never know what’s around the corner. I’m just going to sit back and go with the flow of life and surrender to it and just see what happens.”
Sam Frost’s Believe (Hachette Australia, $32.99) is out now, co-written with Kristine Ross.
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