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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Abigail Spencer opens up on ‘hardest year’ that ‘almost killed’ her

The actor marked her 41st birthday by sharing how much she'd grown.
/ Source: TODAY

“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Abigail Spencer has celebrated another year around the sun and commemorated her big day by cracking her heart wide open.

In an open letter shared on her Instagram page, the actor and Los Angeles-based florist shared a series of photographs alongside her son Roman and model coach J. Alexander. The actor also reflected on turning 41 and what the past year had taught her in terms of mental health and strength.

"I don’t come here often to share personal stories about what’s really going on in my life. I use this space as more of a visual medium. A travel, style, work, celebratory, light-shiner, floral, art, friendships docuseries if you will," she explained in the post, which was shared on her Instagram page on Thursday.

She went on to share that she felt the urge to open up to fans on her 41st birthday.

"It’s my birthday. I’m feeling compelled to share a little more with you upon reflection of the past year as I set intentions & vision the next," she wrote. "Last year for my 40th, I mentioned I took myself to Onsite, an emotional wellness retreat, for a week of intensive trauma therapy to look at myself more deeply. Get more healing & more tools to dance with the fullness of life. They say it’s the equivalent to 100 hours of therapy in a week. That week was radical & life changing. I stepped into my 40th year feeling better than ever. Like I had plugged my tail bone into the sun. Ready to take on life come what may. And boy did it."

"August 4th 2021, I moved into the hardest year of my life. It almost killed me, and if I hadn’t been in training for my mind, body & spirit for & surrounded myself with the most incredible community of friends & healers, I do not believe I would have survived it," she explained. "I’m not going to get into the details of the events that brought about what I’m about to share, but I’ll tell you some of the emotional headlines of its effects."

According to E! News, in comments added to her post, Abigail described how she’d tackled various mental health challenges that ultimately manifested into physical side effects.

“Stress almost took me out. I literally felt like my insides were being eaten by stress. I couldn’t get up off the floor some days. Fear & loss had gripped me. Anxiety would arrest me. In the fight of my life... Everything felt so hard," she wrote. “I cried so hard on multiple occasions that it led me to vomiting. I spent hours some days trembling while holding myself through the incessant distress. I didn’t leave the house for days. I couldn’t catch a breathe (sic). Everything felt so hard. At one point, I thought I was having a heart attack. I talked to a cardiologist & he said I wasn’t having a heart attack, that my heart was so broken & I needed to be held.” 

Fans and friends of the actor flooded the comments of her personal story with a bevy of heart and smile emojis.

J. Alexander commented with well wishes and praise.

"Thank You for Sharing your truth. Enjoy your Birthday," he replied to her post.

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Abigail Spencer on Dec. 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California.Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for The Hollywood R

Fans of the actor, who has also appeared in the series "Suits" and "How I Met Your Mother, went on to share how the actor's words had affected them as well.

"As I always say, you deserve the best of the best, and as someone who has experienced life situations such as loss, I know how hard it can be," another fan wrote. "I’m honestly so happy that you finally feel better not only with yourself also with the others, I’m writing this crying cause it felt home, I didn’t have any idea of what you were going through; please keep blooming, you’re my favorite flower girl."

"I’m reading, and I’m crying, you have been through so much, you are strong, you are loved," one fan with more words of encouragement wrote. "I wish you never lived this terrible year on your life, but you put your head outside of the water, and you can put your crown back on your head. You. Queen."