.Get in the Scene - GITS of the Gist
You could have been working steadfastly with pin sharp focus for a considerable period of time towards a desired end, then the success comes; you beautifully achieve your aim, but you are left absolutely stunned of your wits. You are totally unable to believe what just happened just happened!
Like really? Seriously? Wow!
This was Tyson Fury that memorable day! The emotion that coursed through every vein in his body was simply indescribable. There was his OMG! moment right in front of him; all he has ever hoped for unfolding delightfully before his eyes. An incredibly astounding eureka moment delivered in a lovely package with his name boldly written on it!
He has just defeated Wladimir Klitschko, the world heavyweight champion who has had an undefeated run for 11 years, to clinch the unified world heavyweight titles! This was no mean achievement. It was the mother of all wins.
His team and fans seemingly went into a contest of excitement with one gunning to out-excite the other! Hugs and kisses and back slaps went round generously. It is always a beautiful thing to win in any endeavour. The way winning fittingly caps up the many hours and efforts invested in an endeavour will always be a delight to behold.
Tyson walked in the air the rest of the day. None of it felt real in any way. Everything was simply surreal. He accepted the congratulations, hearty backslaps, and hugs with visible excitement, but inwardly he was finding it difficult to properly reconcile himself with what has happened – he was almost totally mechanical about everything. It got to a point where all he wanted to do was go home – to his hotel.
The prospect of quiet and privacy became so attractive, but then it would be unfair to the many people who are almost as vested in his success as he was. So he kept up the excitedly smiling front, returning the hearty hugs and handshakes. Eventually, the ovation subsided a bit and everyone started making their ways to their home.
‘Finally. Phew!’, he heaved a sigh of relief starting to picture the solitude and much needed quiet his hotel room would afford him when his team of friends started debating the best place to go celebrate the win.
Oh dear… Tyson felt really sorry for himself then. He unhappily went through the normal after-fight routine putting in an effort to look cheerful enough as he responds to non-stop well wishes. Normal Fury would have been riotous in tandem with the excitement of the win, but today his own feelings surprised him. He was just not feeling up to it, and it would be mightily unfair to dam the flow of excitement by excusing himself to go back to his hotel. They are very much part of his success; his team, friends and family. They deserve their celebration.
Everyone had fun at the party. Everyone except Tyson on whose honour the party was thrown. He was miserable all through and when he could no longer bear it, finally asked to be excused to go retire in his hotel. He felt a restful alone moment would kick out the lethargy and he would be good by the morning.
However his sleep was anything but restful. It was fitful actually. He kept tossing and turning all through the night and was grateful when morning finally came. He has never felt worse all his life. His lack of sleep was rewarded with dark rings around his eyes; he was totally knackered.
‘Ok. I should feel better when I get to my own house. A familiar environment should calm my nerves’, he thought.
Surprisingly, nothing in his home did anything to calm him when he eventually got home. All he got was a temporary respite at the sight of his lovely wife and kids. He put up a cheerful front for them like he did his friends as he did not want to get any of them worried.
He would be fine. This feeling of heaviness would ease out by itself.
After a while, his poker face game started failing as his family and friends saw through the façade. He could no longer hide from his family. They noticed he was not quite all right and started showing concerns, but whenever they ask about it, he replies with a curt ‘I’m fine’ and keeps it moving, whether it is the conversation or his feet.
He was miserable and unwittingly dragged his family into his misery too. They were unhappy he was not happy. So he pushed them away and deliberately shut them out; he felt that would be easier on everyone, resorting instead to alcohol and drugs for solace. They became his respite from the wave of depression - or so he thought. Then he began to pile on the weight.
Tyson has always loved the Ferrari brand so he decided to get himself one thinking the rush of a new automobile would pump him up a bit. The feel of the sleek wheel will definitely push this heavy feeling down to his feet then he can shake it off and step on it. This canopy of dowdiness and depression will finally lift!
‘If not now, then when?’ he thought aloud.
Not quite long after, he splashed his twitter page with the picture of his new acquisition.
‘Check my Ferrari. I’m living the dream. Spending all the cash . #MadeIt’, he wrote.
Within a heartbeat, the tweet got thousands of retweets and likes. Flood of comments streamed in congratulating him for getting to the enviable pedestal of being able to live the dream effortlessly. Not everyone makes it there.
Then he decided to go on a solo trip in his new ride one day. While cruising on the highway, the idea of suicide dropped in his mind from nowhere. By this time, his drug addiction and alcoholism cum weight gain have cost him his career and some of his titles. So ending it all right there did not seem like a bad idea at all.
Right then, he spotted a bridge ahead, just below the road strip he was driving on. The prospect of crashing his new Ferrari into it became overwhelmingly attractive. With the speed he was on – 170mph, if he crashed into it, that would be a neat job and he would be finally out of his misery.
At that very moment, no other thing in the world made sense except dying; suicide was the most sensible thing in the world to him.
Suddenly, he heard a voice saying: ‘No, don’t do this Tyson… Think about your kids, think about your family and your little boys and girls growing up with no father and everyone telling them their dad is a weak man.
‘He left you and took the easy way out because he couldn’t do anything about it’.
And people would talk! They are unforgiving with such salacious details especially when they are badly raised people with absolutely no qualms inflicting untold emotional pains on others.
Right then the wind left the sail of his wish to die. He knew he should not pull that through for the sake of his children and aborted mission quickly. He broke into tears at the thought of the untold suffering they would have gone through if he had pulled through with the suicide and vowed never to get to the point where he would start entertaining suicidal thoughts no matter what.
He was shaken to the bones that he actually went that low and knew right then that he needed help from God and a psychiatrist. He eventually trained his way back to fitness, both mentally and physically. And went back to winning ways!
The story above is a near-mirror of a dark phase in the life of Tyson Fury, a British professional footballer. In 2015, he won the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring magazine, and lineal heavy weight titles by defeating long-reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany. It was a phenomenal win that gave his career a massive push.
Klitschko had been the undefeated champion for 11 straight years so Fury defeating him was a big deal the world over. So it was a monumental win that people celebrated globally, but which shockingly sent Fury reeling into a chronic bout of depression that almost became fatal. We are grateful that ‘voice’ came to stop him.
The usual gist is failure sending one into depression, especially when it is a repeated one, but in Fury’s case it was success - the weight of it that sent him into depression. Going by what he revealed, he went into depression not along after winning and it will not be far-fetched to connect the overwhelming feeling which such winnings bring to his depression after.
His life spiraled out of control when he took to drugs and alcohol. He was supposed to have a rematch with Klitschko but was simply not up to it which led to some of his titles being withdrawn. At a point, he took a break from boxing. It was a lot of mess before succour finally found him in 2018. This was after he tried to commit suicide.
His decision to see a psychiatrist was the beginning of his journey to recovery. He signed on a new trainer – having sacked the previous one and went back to work with the determination to be focused and get out of the emotional rut. He has made a lot of impressive showings since his comeback which got him ‘the comeback of the year' award by The Ring magazine who had earlier withdrawn the awards they gave him when he came tumbling down.
In a well publicised event, he fought Deontay Wilder at the Staples Center which ended in 12-round split decision draw. Though the crowd booed at the decision believing Fury did enough to defeat Wilder.
Since his return to the ring and his strong performance against Wilder, Fury has been dubbed "The People's Champion" due to his open and honest discussion about his mental health struggles.
"I feel I have a story to tell, a massive one. The stuff I've been through, depression, mental health problems. It can help and inspire others. From 18 stone to 27. From a clean living man to drugs and alcohol and back to the heavyweight world champion again. I hope the legacy and story I leave behind will help others in the future of what to do and not to do." - Tyson Fury
I soothe with my pen. Or keyboard. Or both.