Reilly O'Brien for Player Mental Health Sharing

February 13, 2024

Video Transcript

Speaker: Reilly O'Brien

Can you speak about the challenges that you have faced that have impacted your thoughts, feelings & actions? (as a player/personally?)

Reilly O'Brien: Hey guys, Riley o'brien here just wanting to talk about a few of the challenges I've faced um in my life so far. Uh Everyone faces challenges and I'm certainly no different. I faced a few over my time. I've been very lucky but certainly faced um some really tough times emotionally. Uh The first one I wanted to talk about was more at school. Um Probably year eight and year nine, I had a period there where I was um quite lonely. Um quite, didn't feel like I, I fit in socially. I was uh had a bit of a struggle in at, at school. Um Before that I was, I was quite a boisterous and popular kid. And then, uh when I got to those years, I felt like I uh wasn't as, as popular. I felt like I was a little bit on the outer at my school. And um yeah, I wasn't very confident. I was, I was really shy and wasn't very confident uh socially. And I remember asking um my parents at one stage whether I could move school because I felt like I just didn't fit in and I feel like, felt like I'd didn't have uh as many friends as a lot of the other kids. And um that was a bit of a, you know, tough year or two for me in that sense, in terms of um socially feeling a little bit on the outer. Uh and definitely that triggered um some loneliness. It triggered uh some anxiety around that in terms of um not feeling like I was uh in with the my core group of friends and feeling a little bit on the outer and not. Um Yeah, I remember going to school um sometimes feeling a little bit anxious and sort of sitting on the outer fringes of uh my friendship circle and not having much to say and trying to fit in. But some days it was, it was hard being at school doing that and didn't feel like I was uh having a great time because I felt like I was, didn't know what to say and didn't know what to do in those social situations. And I was really shy and um yeah, lacking a lot of confidence. So that was, it was sometimes really hard um getting up and going to school and, and being in a, in a, you know, a, a big school of um full of people and feeling like I didn't have the confidence to talk or, or say things for fear of saying the wrong thing. So, yeah, there was definitely a lot of shyness and definitely a lot of um a lack of confidence. So it was, yeah, sometimes it was really hard going to school. Uh The second struggle for me uh in a professional sense was uh in my football career. So I got drafted when I was 19. Um to the Adelaide Crows came over from Melbourne and then my first four years, I I didn't um play a lot in the A FL team. So obviously, the goal in my career was to play a lot of a fl football and not play in the Reserves in the Seconds team. So my first four years, I was only able to play two games. So I was stuck um in the in the Reserves team. And uh by my fourth year, there was a lot of um anxiety around that. There was a lot of um existential anxiety. So I was feeling like, what am I doing with my life? What's the purpose of my life? And I'm putting in all this hard work and not getting the rewards that maybe I was after. So I was feeling really um sad about that. I, as I said, I had a lot of anxiety. Um and then also a lot of negativity as well. I, I found myself blaming others and blaming the world in my situation. Uh I felt like I was very negative, I was complaining a lot. So I wasn't very fun to be around. I was quite grumpy. Uh I was complaining to my partner, my friends, my family, I was, um, got in quite a negative headspace. And when I did that, I found that my energy was really low. I felt tired all the time. I was zapped of all my energy and I, I viewed everything through a negative lens. Um, so that got really tough. And there was definitely some nights when I'd go to bed and roll around and I'd be very anxious thinking about, you know, what am I doing with my life? Um, what's the point? And all these questions rolling around my head? So it certainly affected my sleep in that sense. Uh And in, in that same year, uh as I was working hard and trying to get rewards, I dislocated my shoulder. So I had a shoulder surgery with which put me out for the whole season and I was out for six months with a, um, pretty significant injury. So that definitely, um s spiraled those negative emotions and thoughts and feelings and, and they amplified those negative thoughts and feelings. Uh, so I was complaining even more. I was even more negative to be around. I was grumpy. Uh, wasn't sleeping very well. Um I was, I was a bit of a negative person in that sense. Um So that was a, that was a really tough time emotionally to get through, uh, and to keep trying to work hard without necessarily seeing any rewards for that. Uh Yeah, it was really tough and it's certainly tough on the people around me because I was quite negative, um, and anxious in that period.

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