December Blog – John Mooney, Irish cricketer shares a diary entry with Aware

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John Mooney 6 courtesy of Cricket EurpoeJohn Mooney, Irish cricketer shares a diary entry November 28th with Aware.

It’s 6 am and as most of us who suffer with depression will know it’s not uncommon to be up roaming around in a place that is very hard to describe to another person who does not suffer with this affliction. I’m actually not feeling too bad, the reason I’m up so early is not because I can’t sleep it’s because I was in bed so early.

I’m currently in Dubai on a training camp with 15 other players and a support staff of five who all know about my situation, but at times on this trip I could be here with a million people and it would still make no difference to the loneliness I have felt. I was diagnosed nearly three years ago now and my ability to cope with my feelings and low moods has grown as every day passes. There are many factors behind this and the biggest one is that I’m determined this will not beat me, it will not stop me from doing what I love.

I am so lucky to be in this space where I know I’m low but I also know it will pass. In two hours or so my teammates will be awake and I can use all their positivity and friendship to help me get through another day. The main reason for me being in bed so early is my corrupted mind that for years to deal with, I would shove some kind of substance into my body to help take away the feelings of self-hate and pain that I have suffered with since my dad’s death when I was a boy. To keep myself away from doing something I will regret I need to be in bed early, I need to switch my mind off as early as I can and get away from my corrupted thinking. In the last few years I have attended many counselling sessions, group sessions, AA meetings and even tried meditation and they have all helped me to get to this point of acceptance that life goes on, life is good and that at times I’m not going to feel great, I can’t imagine there is anyone who feels great all the time.

We travelled out here on the 19th of this month and from the minute we hit the airport I was feeling crap, I had left my two girls and wife at home again and it just wasn’t sitting right with me. I spent the first few days fighting off the usual feelings of just giving up, throwing the towel in as they say, they were followed up with the suicidal thoughts which were then followed up with the drown your sorrows in a heap of alcohol thoughts but life has a way of putting things in perspective for you, and in the last few days the cricket world has been turned upside down due to the tragic death of one of the games top batsmen in Australia, Phil Hughes. Hit on the head with a cricket ball at 80+ mph. My dad also died playing cricket and the feelings that this has brought back to me are so raw and mixed I don’t know what to think. For twenty odd years I’ve tried to tell myself “ah Dad died doing something he loved”, that might be true but it’s not fair and what has happened to Phil is just not fair.

My mood at some stage today will be low and tomorrow I will go through the same thing but I will hopefully still be here with a great family, with friends, with a job, with a future, a future which has been taken so tragically away from Phil. I will do everything I can to make sure this illness doesn’t take me away from my future.

Anyone who reads this who also suffers with this curse of an illness please don’t act on your plans please remember that life is precious and you are precious to someone, find that someone and let them help you.

My thoughts are with Phil Hughes at the moment, with his family, friends and teammates I know the loss they are suffering is devastating. I’m hoping that in heaven all the cricketers who have gone before us have welcomed him in and are enjoying his company, and that maybe he can teach my dad the cut shot.

Today I will not be acting on any of my thoughts, I will try and enjoy it as much as I can, I will not take one minute for granted and I will try and get as much out of it as I can. I’m going to be positive, I will work hard and I will tell my family that I love them and I will put into practice everything I have learned over the last few years to help me do this.

Go raibh maith agat agus slán go foill
Johnboy

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8 Responses to “December Blog – John Mooney, Irish cricketer shares a diary entry with Aware”

  1. Derek

    Keep going John Boy you have more people in your corner then you realize.Keep well.

    Del

    Reply
  2. Exile

    Fair play for a great article John. Unfortunately I have also been blighted by this illness and can empathise only too well with your suffering.
    Never forget you have people who love you and will do anything to help.
    In your case, there are also many thousands of people you will never meet who have had their own lives made better even for only brief moments by your sporting achievements especially at the 2011 World Cup.
    And make sure not to get overwhelmed by life. press pause and take time for you. breathing and meditation are your friends.
    Remember there may not be a quick fix. A lot of depression advice starts and ends with taking about your problem. But its a constant battle even after that initial breakthrough.
    I would also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy and also emotional focused therapy.
    Best of luck and look forward to seeing you in action in the World Cup in a few months.

    Reply
  3. Hurlingfan

    Hi John. Great that you’re putting into words what many of us feel or in my case have felt more strongly in the past. I have bipolar ,diagnosed at 21 and have been hospitalised twice,the last time being 16 years ago which in bipolar terms makes me very fortunate.It has in the past affected relationships with both friends and girlfriends and was something I felt I had to accept and I could never change.
    Up to the age of 37 I had no counselling , no after care treatment of any kind. I just stumbled along with huge lows and highs .In the past few years I have done both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy and meditation.This has helped greatly but I still got crashing lows every month for one week to 10 days of real depression where I felt like self harming and suicidal thoughts were very prevalent for me.
    In this past year I have completed reiki up to level one grade and have also used bio balance for nutrient therapy and I consider these the last parts of my puzzle. For me it has cut down my dark moods by at least 90%. I feel now it’s a level playing field with friends and colleagues not that it’s a competition but that’s how it feels. I feel like it’s no longer the issue it was for me.
    I strongly feel that all these tools. Meditation ,CBT, ACT, reiki and nutrient therapy and of course lifestyle and medication have greatly helped me. Best of luck John. It does change. I was in your shoes once upon a time not so long ago. (I know it’s never over and I will always have to be aware of my mood and work at improving it but it’s possible) Take care of yourself. ;) Hurlingfan

    Reply
  4. Peter

    Congratulations on a fine piece, John. Your honesty in opening up so publicly to something which is so private is impressive and I hope can be a beacon to others suffering similarly. I take my hat off to you.

    Reply
  5. Joanne

    John Mooney ur are an inspiration to all in cricket especiallymy son ur family so keep going it can only get better !! As dey say in north county dublin keep her lit!!!! Much love xxxx

    Reply
  6. Annette

    John, a very moving piece with great empathy for all of us who experience or have experienced depression. We all understand the negative thoughts and feelings of isolation, by the sound of it you have a very good handle on coping, it’s not easy but it helps just to take ‘little steps’ and as the song goes ‘ one day at a time’ There are great lectures on this site and sometimes when we are low and need some encouragement it is a great resource as by now Aware have most topics covered. Stay well and safe journey home. Annette

    Reply

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