Growing up I had a privileged upbringing, parents/ grandparents that would do anything to help me achieve what I wanted and for this I can’t thank them enough.
I was lucky I was a natural at most things, picked up new skills/traits easily and managed to breeze through a lot without trying.
Sport was always the forefront, football in the early years quickly moving onto cricket. I was always a high achiever within this playing football for Huddersfield, cricket for Huddersfield & Yorkshire, Broad Oak senior team at 12. I achieved a lot within this and I’m forever grateful.
I never really saw myself as a superstar or someone who was good at it to say the least. That came naturally through the rise I had. Granted I always wanted to be the best I could be, but most of all through the ages I wanted to score goals/ runs/ take wickets.
Once you rise the environment you’re in becomes aware of who you are. This changed my views of myself. It created a mind set in which every time I do something I have to be almost perfect, whether in sport or later in life work.
Once the pressure is rising the thought process of myself changed, I would constantly question every decision every mistake every good time. I stopped seeing the good and only focused on the negatives.
As many are aware I had a lot of great times in cricket achieved more than I hoped and dreamed of. But to me this was never enough! I under achieved. I viewed myself as a failure. Not done enough, not where I am, failed myself, family, friends everyone!!
I threw myself into uni, achieved a degree in Sport.
But upon finishing I had nothing in my eyes. I was at home, no job, Fucked the cricket up, nowhere to go dreams shattered. A failure as such!!!
This is when the depressive thoughts kicked in. it overcame me like a thunder storm. I was trapped, fighting myself every day. Tired, angry, hurt I was lost.
All I could think of was the negatives, the failed life plan, letting everyone down. What was I supposed to do? I fucked up right? The superstar everyone thought would be doing this, is now what? A nobody! A failed person.
I hated myself for it. How could I live with the guilt of letting these people down? What can I do?
The worst was the mental pain. I was crying, breaking down in shops, walking, anywhere I was so messed up.
This is when I tried it. Physical pain. I couldn’t bare it anymore in my mind I thought a physical pain would take it away. I punched a wall breaking my hand, what did this do made it all worse! I’m now mentally and physically struggling.
I got to the point of suicide, why should I be here? What’s the point anymore! I would get in my car and just think of driving through walls, off roads.
If it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t be here.
Since the major start. I have had periods of relapse. I’ve self-harmed profoundly, contemplated suicide on a number of occasions. My arms have scars surrounding them and shows the physical pain I induct to try contradict the mental.
Over a few year period it was on and off. I thought I’d had control but then it would spark up.
The PCA have been instrumental in helping me and I can’t thank them enough.
As well as a local GP who helped me through the toughest times.
I still have down times. If things seem wrong or make mistakes I find it extremely hard. I just want to be perfect, yes this is impossible! But to me it sometimes feels it isn’t. this has been taken into everything I do. The smallest mistake or annoying thing increases and I can’t stop it! Work especially I just want to do it right! Make an impression show people I can.
It’s an ongoing battle and I still have bad times but I am finding ways!
Admitting was always the hardest thing. I went to the doctors and said I’m struggling, they diagnosed me and sent me away with Tablets. I took them thought right I’m fine now sweet.
I never really admitted that I was bad until a few years later.
I ripped my arms apart with a knife and my mum/dad found me. The pain on their faces and how scared they were hit a nerve, the kick up the arse I needed. It made me realise that I am loved and I have to find a way.
I went back to the doctors and also for the first time spoke with the pca.
I was assigned a councillor which I say monthly and medication from the doctor which over a year has been adapted to what I need.
The best thing I could say was speaking. I was ashamed a 20 odd year old bloke who’s lived a life of luxury, playing pro sport having it all in people’s eyes, has depression? Why would I admit that?
I contemplated for months and months until finally I sat down and wrote a facebook/twitter post.
I was scared, what reception I would get? I had already pushed myself away from everyone what now!!
But honestly without doing that I don’t know how I’d have got through. The reception and support I received I am eternally grateful. My cricket club friends, people I grew up with, members of the public rallied round and gave me a lift to push me on the journey. It is true when they say talking is the best way!!! I can’t deny it. It bloody works!!!!
Seeing a counsellor has showed me that I can talk. He provides a safe place to let it all out whatever the case without being judged.
The way he helps to view things is something I’m talking into my life and trying the techniques within everything.
Running/ walking the dog. It allows me to switch of and just let it out.
My ways are different to others I still struggle but I now have things in place to help.
This is a little snippet of my struggles and how I can improve my mental health. I would love the opportunity to share further and help others through these times.
If anyone ever needs any help please get in touch