Darren Eadie interview: Depression saw me turn my back on football

„I turned my back on football for several years,“ says Darren Eadie. „It wasn’t because I did not like the game. Because I loved it it was and that I could not do it. Imagine your fire – whatever you wake up for – and being told you can not do it anymore. Being told it’s OK as it is still possible to watch your mates get it done. It is so tough.“
Retirement comes to each footballer but the ending for Eadie came sooner than he might ever have envisioned.
He had been a highly-rated winger. When he became an undercover member of the club’s hall of fame he was still playing. But his move into Leicester has been blindsided by knee injuries. At only 28, his career was over.
„It was more the shock than anything,“ he tells Sky Sports. „I’d had accidents to my knee always return from it so I always believed I’d return from the subsequent one. So to awaken from a surgery and have my wife walked there along with the physio sat there and also the surgeon sat there telling me how that my livelihood was done at 28 had been a enormous shock.“
Appearances that were 251 had been made by eadie with 81 of those. He had been tipped for stardom but he was anticipating a long career before him, though his injuries had promised those heights weren’t likely to be reached. Retirement was not the strategy.
The plan had to change.
„It is like being thrown out of a fish tank and unexpectedly you’re flailing about on the floor not knowing what to do. It is a different environment. That was the problem for me. It wasn’t only that I was out of soccer. It was that I was learning how to fit into society again because it’s extremely different to being at a football room.
„You have this sort of resilience to you as a footballer. If you’ve got a lousy game you tell yourself that there is another game on the corner and you will have the chance to place it behind you. That’s the way I attempted to take care of it. Try to enjoy my retirement and I only went to place it . But this quickly fades.
„It requires different life skills and you have to understand that fairly quickly. I think putting it was probably. I should have spoken to people straight away. But I attempted to put a brave face on things when I went outside and bottled everything up, put away it, coated it. After a while, which takes its toll“
Eadie suffered from depression.
There were still even tears. Panic attacks. Occasionally he could not leave the house. Other times he had to call his wife.
„It was a gradual process,“ he clarifies. „In soccer, you require a bit of anxiety to playwith. You require nervous stress. However, this was a lot. I had been making excuses not to observe folks. I was making excuses not to go out. That is when you realise you are getting darker and deeper.
„There has been a point once I hit rock bottom and my spouse was wonderful at that moment. She was having to deal with a child. I became a person who was so needy. You end up hanging on their every word. All it would take is just one’wrong‘ word and I would be down in the depths again so I think there needs to be more support for the families as well.“
Could soccer do to help?
„The difficulty when you complete early is that you are a commodity. Just as you might be valued by them as soon as you’re searching for them, once you are finished you are finished. You can’t help them. I am able to comprehend that. It’s a organization. But when you’re dealing with human beings there’s a bit more into it. You can’t treat people.
„Times have changed. The comprehension is far superior than it had been. Because you aren’t mentally perfect, the way football sees it, if you aren’t mentally strong then you will be immediately discarded by a manager. They will say how they could help and his mind isn’t appropriate without considering the reasons for it, to play.
„I do think the PFA has to do more. Here is the biggest sport on earth but I think cricket and rugby are way ahead in dealing with these problems. A lot of time in football it is just lip service. People say what other individuals want to hear and then don’t go back to it“
Life stays tough for Eadie. He lost his mom to a brain haemorrhage that was surprising. But the favorable for him now is that he’s discovering a way to cope with what life throws at him. He is in a location that is much better. „There are always things to address in life but overall day-to-day life does not seem so bad anymore,“ he says.
„You understand when you’re going through a terrible period. The thing is that if you have been through the episode before you know there’s an ending to it. The problem is whenever you are going first time, you’re going down and down, and you believe there’s no end to it. That is when, sadly, people take their own lives.
„If you’ve got an event and get through it, that’s when you discover that they become briefer, you can cope and you develop methods to deal with this. I would urge anyone who has those kind of ideas to see someone whenever possible and suffers those things. The more time you jar it up, the longer you wait patiently to see a doctor, the worse it will be.“
Eadie is now enjoying his role running a football programme for an independent college – at Ipswich of all places – and can be involved in another exciting venture that is new too. He helped establish a YouTube show FC Kitchen appearing at soccer and food in a way, intending to raise awareness of the advantages of eating a diet.
„For those who have children yourself you tend to look at the larger picture and attempt to be more responsible,“ he states. „So it’s a tie-in concerning veganism and consuming less meat. I’ll eat meat but it is simply about looking at how we could slow down our effect and providing an alternative. We are pitching vegans against meat eaters.“
Eadie is getting fun. His involvement in football is limited to his job at school. He is watching football, after turning his back on the match. There is even some work for Norwich TV.
„It is normal to drift back to somewhere you had pleasant times,“ he adds. „I am finding it enjoyable watching football again “

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