Former goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, 37, had to leave Bury football club before the 2016/17 season began when his battle with depression reached crisis point. He shares his story: “Injuries had a massive impact on me. I’d fight my way back in but there was always just setback after setback. When I signed for Bury in 2016 my depression and anxiety was at its worst. But I didn’t tell anyone at the club what was going on.” “I couldn’t wait to go to sleep at night, but I didn’t want to wake up again in the morning. I eventually got to that place where I knew it was bad enough that I had to do something about it.” “We went to Portugal in pre-season and I didn’t want to go out there. We stayed in these villas, where I was on the top floor, and I just broke down. I rang Leona and said: ‘Look, I can’t do this anymore. I need to get help and I need to get home’. “I flew back the next day, and when Dave Flitcroft [Bury’s Manager] and the team got back I went to see him and said: ‘I’m in a bad way here… I’m struggling. I need some time’. And he gave me two weeks, he was brilliant.” “I rang Professional Football Association (PFA) and as soon as I made that call, I had a huge weight off my shoulders. I should have talked to the club and rang the PFA sooner and told them I was struggling. It was a big taboo subject, so I didn’t tell them how I was feeling because I didn’t really understand it myself. No one used to talk about mental health, especially not in sport, so it’s great to be able to share my story to encourage other men to seek help when they’re struggling to cope and finding life tough. If you need someone to talk to then ring Samaritans in Spain on Freephone 900 525 100. Mon to Sat 10 until 10. Sunday 10 until 6. OR Email firstname.lastname@example.org OR Book a WhatsApp Call on 634 325 906
Author: The Journal
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