JOEY Essex said his "heart secretly aches every day" for his mum 20 years after her death.
The 30-year-old paid an emotional birthday tribute to his mum Tina two decades after her tragic suicide.
Tina took her own life in 2001 after a battle with depression when Joey was 10 and his sister Frankie, 33, was 13.
The siblings shared the childhood snap of them with their mother along with a poignant message.
Joey wrote: "Another day to wish you happy birthday in heaven. My heart secretly aches everyday and I try my best to keep putting on this front to the world but I'm not scared or afraid anymore to say I'm heartbroken and I always will be.
"I'll miss you forever. Hurts to know deep down you was sad inside and you was smiling for us always.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
"One day I'll be with you again and then we can smile together. No more secrets for us both. I love you mum ❤️."
The Celebs Go Dating star also posted a photo of his beautiful mum wearing a green playsuit and a home video from his birthday.
Sister Frankie simply commented: "Love you so much 💗💗💗💗."
Cousin Chloe Sims also reacted to the post with three broken heart emojis.
Many celeb pals also shared their messages of support, with Jess Wright adding: "Bless you Joey. Thinking of you and Frankie today."
Big sister Frankie also took to social media to reflect on their mum's birthday, writing that she promised to "look after Joey" in the emotional message.
She shared a series of snaps, including one of her mum candidly smiling at the camera and another photo of her mum holding he wearing a pink stripped t-shirt.
Frankie wrote: "Happy Birthday Mummy I miss you I will miss you forever i promised I'll look after Joey as much as I could and I still try to make you proud everyday.
'I know your with us in spirit it hurts so much to write this wishing I could just hold you in my arms and tell you I love you to your face ❤️."
Joey has previously spoken about his mum's suicide andhow it impacted him in his book Being Reem.
He said: “Some people reckoned I stopped learning because of what happened to my mum. Almost like I froze in time.
“I don’t know about that but I do remember it hitting me really hard.
“I was a proper mummy’s boy when I was growing up. I’d follow her about everywhere and snuggle up to her at night on the sofa."
But while Joey insists his mum “would do anything” for him and his older
sister Frankie, he adds: “Deep down she was ill and unhappy.
“I was always confused about what was wrong with my mum. She was often in hospital and I never understood why.”
Joey still struggles with his own pain, he explained: “I don’t usually like
talking about my mum because whenever I do it makes me cry. Blocking it off just seems easier.”
Last year, he bravely spoke about his mother's suicide on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
The star revealed that he was only able to say the word 'mum' in recent years.
He told the officers: "I believe I am tough inside. Growing up wasn't easy.
'I had to deal with a lot of s**t. My mum committed suicide when I was 10 which was difficult.
"It hardened me up a little bit. I can't explain it. It's made me tougher inside.
"I only sort of started being able to talk about it openly, saying the word mum three or four years ago.
"I know my mum loved me. But it has given me trust issues. One day she was there one day she was gone."
Contact the Samaritans
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123.
They are available for free at anytime.
Or email https://www.samaritans.org/
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.
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