Enigmatic Collingwood forward Alex Fasolo has penned a brave article, opening up about his struggles with mental health issues.
The electric goal kicker took time away from the game this season to deal with depression, missing the Magpies’ Round 11 clash against Fremantle.
Writing for website Players Voice, Fasolo opened about his darkest and toughest days as an elite athlete, describing how to often thought about walking away from the game and the struggles he faced daily.
“I’d wake up every morning, I’d set my alarm and I’d go, ‘oh, no’," Fasolo wrote.
"I’d sit in my car and cry for about 20 minutes. Then I’d get up the courage and I’d drive into the club and I’d get to the car park, and then I’d sit in the car and cry for another 20 minutes, get up the courage, and then I’d walk into the club, look at the doors and just go, ‘yep!’ – put on this big front.
“With my personality I’ve always been the life of the party, I’ve always been the bloke that’s created energy, and I kept feeling that I had to keep living up to that,” Fasolo wrote.
“And that didn’t help, because I’d go to the club, I’d put on this big front and then I’d walk out of the club, get into my car and then just cry all the way home and just fall in a heap. This probably went on for a few months.”
Fasolo stated it wasn't as simple as saying that he was "cured or better", but he revealed that after opening up to the club and to the public about his mental health struggles, he has a better understanding of himself and how to be more open and honest with friends, family and teammates.
“This is a hard thing to talk about. It’s hard to explain. I get it," Fasolo stated.
"It’s an escape fantasy when things get really bad and dark thoughts do really travel in your mind.
“Death, you feel like death is at the back of your mind somewhere. Not suicide. That’s just an escape fantasy.”
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