All Blacks Don’t Cry

John Kirwan on Depression
by Mike Cooney

“Depression was not something I ever thought would happen to me. In fact, it took me years to acknowledge it. Like many people, I forced my dark feelings and fears to the back of my mind and just pushed on in life, even though every day was a superhuman struggle to seem normal. Mostly, I was afraid – terrified of what I might become, what I might do, and terrified that I would lose all the things I loved about my life.

“Finally, I hit rock bottom! I had lost all hope of happiness, and was exhausted from secretly fighting my black monster.

“That moment was the turning point for me, though. I did what I should have done right back when my panic attacks began: I reached out to the right people. I acknowledged I had a problem, and with that acknowledgement came the first steps on my journey to wellness.

“Most importantly, I found hope – a sense that things can and will get better – and I clung to it in the same way you’d hang on to a life-raft if you’d been shipwrecked in a stormy sea. Holding on to hope was how I got through depression. “I’ve been through hell, and I’m back. If you’re in that place where I was, then I understand what you’re going through. If you’re in that place, and you don’t feel any hope, take a look at me and use my story …”

– John Kirwan, ‘All Blacks Don’t Cry’

Issue 3 2011


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