James Hird is feeling just fine. But for a long time, he wasn’t.
At the height of the Essendon Football Club saga in 2013 – which rocked the AFL, the fans, and all of the players and coaches involved – James would have up to 250 members of the media outside his house, all day, every day.
Having already suffered with a loss of purpose after his retirement from the game some years earlier, the widely-publicised events of 2013 sent James on a downward spiral of self-doubt and depression. And it took him almost seven long and difficult years to work through it.
Now, in 2020, he’s found a way to compartmentalise everything he’s been through, everything he’s felt, and everything he’s feared, and he’s ready to begin life again.
“It took me a while to realise that the way to rebuild wasn’t about achieving this and that, it was actually becoming happy with myself again,” says James. “What am I, 47? This started at 40, so it's been a seven-year journey to come out to the point that I'm happy to talk about it, and I feel as good as ever.”
In an Australian exclusive, James sits down with AIA Vitality Ambassador (and ex arch-nemesis-turned-good-mate) Shane Crawford to talk about his life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the rest. He details his struggles with his mental health in intense detail, and explains just what it took for him to come out of the other side.
Watch the video in full above.