A voice in my head told me I didn’t want to be in the world...

Ricky Hat­ton on de­pres­sion fight

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Talk Tv - EX­CLU­SIVE BY NICK OWENS DOWN AND OUT Los­ing to May­weather

BOX­ING le­gend Frank Bruno is on a new cru­sade to smash stigma sur­round­ing men­tal ill health.

In his new book, Let Me Be Frank, the 55-year-old tells how he fi­nally man­aged to re­cover from bipo­lar dis­or­der. The boxer has also backed our Time to Change cam­paign for bet­ter men­tal health care.

But he isn’t the only star to suf­fer. Here, in a har­row­ing ex­tract from Frank’s book, his friend and for­mer World Cham­pion Ricky Hat­ton, 39, tells of his own bat­tle. And the day he nearly took his life. To see what Frank has gone through breaks my heart. If some­one put me in a hos­pi­tal and locked the door I’d have prob­a­bly tried to smash it down.

But Frank bat­tled his ill­ness like a cham­pion. He stood and fought it. In the end he won.

That was not a sur­prise to me – he is a war­rior.

I was proud that only a few weeks af­ter Frank came out of hos­pi­tal in 2015 he de­cided to pop into my gym in Manch­ester.

We took a pic­ture and put it on Twit­ter. Christ, it nearly broke the bloody in­ter­net. It was nice to see peo­ple still cared.

“Maybe we could both come back,” I joked to him that day.

But Frank knows those days are over. It is not easy. When the fans go home you are alone.

Frank found it tough and I found it tough. When you are in that ring with thou­sands scream­ing at you, you can take on the world.

But this prob­lem called de­pres­sion, you don’t want to take on.

All of a sud­den, there’s a voice in your head telling you that you don’t even want to be in the world, let alone take it on.

Frank says end­ing his life has never crossed his mind. I wish I could say the same.

My de­pres­sion started af­ter I lost to Floyd May­weather. It was ter­ri­ble. Then I fought Juan Laz­cano and I was back up. I fell out with my trainer, Billy Gra­ham, then I was down. Then I beat Paulie Malig­naggi and I was up. But then I fell out with my par­ents and I was down again.

My mind was go­ing up and down so much I didn’t know whether I was com­ing or go­ing half the time.

For a short while, I didn’t care whether I lived or died.

I thought about killing my­self sev­eral times. I used to go down the pub, come back, take a knife out and sit there in the dark cry­ing my eyes out. Drink was my de­mon. Then drugs. There were times I thought: “Sod this, I will just drink my­self to death.”

I felt like I had let ev­ery­one down.

My fam­ily and friends had to see me go through it and were help­less. But that’s the past. It is so im­por­tant not to be afraid to talk about how you feel. If two fel­las like Frank and I can talk about their feel­ings any­one can.

I don’t care now when peo­ple ask about my de­pres­sion.

You have got to be open and hon­est and, like Frank says, you should not feel ashamed about ask­ing for a bit of help.

Frank’s book, pub­lished by Mir­ror Books, is on sale across the UK. Visit his foun­da­tion at the­frankbruno­foun­da­tion.co.uk

HIS STORY Frank’s book DARK TIMES Ricky thought about sui­cide

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.