Cheryl Cole has revealed that she suffered a secret mental breakdown while struggling to cope with her failed marriage to Ashley.
In her new autobiography 'Cheryl: My Story', the 29-year-old singer lifts the lid on how she hit rock bottom after her bitter split from her cheating footballer husband but kept the pain hidden.
The Girls Aloud star admitted that she regularly collapsed in tears, refused to see her family on Christmas Day and hated her final year on 'The X Factor'.
Her breakdown started just weeks after she announced her split from Ashley in February 2010.
"I just wanted to get out of the marriage and out of the house but as the day of the move got close I became more and more emotional," the Daily Star quoted her as saying.
"I hadn't anticipated this. I think I was actually going through a nervous breakdown," she said,
Cheryl hid her agony from millions of fans as she appeared on The X Factor's live shows that year but feared she was "cracking up".
Even becoming a judge on the US 'X Factor' didn't help so she prepared to move to Los Angeles and hoped to break the States.
"On the face of it, I was coping," she said.
"But I was still close to tears all the time. It was like my nerves were always close to snapping and I felt permanently on edge," Cheryl said.
Back in the UK, she failed to enjoy 'The X Factor' final despite her act Rebecca Ferguson coming second.
"Inside I felt too stressed and anxious to enjoy the moment," she said.
Shortly afterwards she chose to spend Christmas alone.
"Nobody could help me. 'I'll be fine' I said. But really I wanted to say 'Help me, I can't live like this any more. I'm miserable as hell'," she sadi.
After getting a text message from Ashley's mum saying his family missed her, Cheryl said she "sobbed uncontrollably".
"I broke down completely," she said.
Even a New Year break with pal Derek Hough was a nightmare.
"I'm sure I'd been having a nervous breakdown for months. I can see that now," she said.
"We were there for ten days and that's how I was the whole time, sad and paranoid and a shell of my normal self," she added. (ANI)