JESY Nelson caused shockwaves among Little Mix fans on Monday as she announced she was quitting the band in a lengthy and incredibly moving statement.
The 29-year-old bravely revealed her decision to step away from the limelight came after nine years in the group had begun to take "a toll on her mental health".
And according to psychologist Jo Hemmings, her words reveal just how hard the decision has been to make, and how much love she has for her bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock – who in turn have revealed "unconditional support" for her.
From celebrating the "genuine friendships" she has made, to her "bittersweet" honesty about why she's made the decision, Jo has praised the star's decision to "focus on her own self-care".
She says Jesy's decision clearly comes at a time when she needs "rest and peace", and the love she shares with her bandmates is evident – with her showing no shred of "bitterness or resentment" towards them, only complete support.
Here Jo reveals some of the hidden messages of love in the moving statement…
'A heart warming and hugely appreciative comment'
Jesy began her statement with a word of appreciation and thanks for the support she and her bandmates have received over the last nine years, lovingly addressing her open letter to her "Mixers" – the name coined by their fans.
She said: "The past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life. We have achieved things I never thought possible.
"From winning our first Brit Award to our sold out shows at the 02. Making friends and fans all over the world I can’t thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world."
And Jo says she is not only acknowledging how much they have achieved together as a band, but how important the support they've received has been.
Jo says: "This is a heart warming and hugely appreciative comment about not only recognising how fortunate she has been, but that none of it would have been possible without the continued support, loyalty or understanding of her fans and those genuine friendships she has made over the past nine years."
A 'rather bittersweet' statement
Jesy went on to explain some of the reasons behind her incredibly difficult decision, explaining that her years in the band had begun to impact her mental health.
She said: "You have always been there to support and encourage me and I will never ever forget it.
"The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard."
Jo believes these words in particular give an insight into some of the struggles Jesy may have been feeling recently.
Jo says: "There is something rather bittersweet about this statement. There is a sense that she feels unworthy of all the dedication and allegiance that her fans have shown her.
"That in spite of how much she appreciates their support, it has also – in part – created a pressurised scenario in which she has tried, but not always succeeded, in meeting her perception of their expectations of her."
'Here is the incredibly brave part'
From there, the singer took the time to explain to her fans that she had reached the point where she needed to focus on herself.
It's this part, in particular, that Jo has praised as "incredibly brave".
Jesy said: "There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process."
And Jo explains: "Here is the incredibly brave part of her statement…
"That in spite of all that love, support and encouragement, she is self-aware enough to recognise that rather than continuing to please others and to do what is ‘expected’ of her, she feels vulnerable and knows that she now has to focus on her own self-care, in order to flourish, consider her professional and personal future and build her wellbeing back up to full strength."
'This reveals exhaustion – both psychological and physical'
Jesy then confirmed to fans that she was in fact leaving the band, but admitted the decision came with a "heavy heart".
She said: "So, after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I’m announcing I’m leaving Little Mix. I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy.
"I’m ready to embark on a new chapter in my life – I’m not sure what it’s going to look like right now, but I hope you’ll still be there to support me."
Her words reveal just how long she must have considered her decision and battled over it, and also hint at possible future plans she hopes to have once she's spent some time out of the limelight.
Jo says this part also reveals her "exhaustion – both psychological and physical", and adds: "Her ‘heavy heart’ shows just how difficult this decision has been for her.
"She hasn’t revealed what she intends to do next – though that maybe a solo career or something quite different all together – and she implies that she doesn’t know what that might be.
"But what does come over strongly is her need for rest, peace and spending more time with her relatively new boyfriend, actor Sean Sagar."
It shows 'their unconditional love and support'
Jesy completed her statement by sharing her love for her fans and also her bandmates, with a final message dedicated solely to them.
She also shared her support for their future career together, in an incredibly heartfelt gesture.
She said: "Most of all I want to say thank you to Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne for creating some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget.
"I hope that you’ll continue to fulfil all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love. Love Jesy x.”
Jo has praised the star for this show of support, and also referenced Little Mix's own statement in response to Jesy's news.
They said on Twitter: "After an amazing 9 years together Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix. This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy.
"We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being. We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the 3 of us are not ready for it to be over.
"We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us.
"We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour. Love always, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne xxx."
Jo says: "This is just so touching, kind and lovely.
"She is fully acknowledging the part that her bandmates have played in her success, without a shred of bitterness or resentment, as she wishes them well in the future.
"And they in turn have responded on social media, wishing her well and offering her their unconditional love and support as she embarks on a new chapter in her life."
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