Taking a break from supporting essendon due to mental health?

Make sure you check back in soon @TourIsOver to let us know you’re ok.


Yes, it’s hard…Some days it’s hard to move very far from the bed…Nothing is worth
doing…When the phone rings I put headphones on and pretend I don’t hear it…

Years ago I remember Garry “Norman” McDonald saying many times that when he was in the grip of the Black Dog, he credited just getting his feet on the floor, and going for a walk got him through.

I’ve passed on this advice many times since and it genuinely never failed anyone who put it into practice.

The actor Garry McDonald, a board member of the national depression initiative, beyondblue, said earlier this year on ABC’s Enough Rope : "Every morning, as soon as you get up, put on the walkers and go out for a brisk walk; and about 20 minutes you’ll notice a change. It’s very, very good."


Have you considered supporting a less stressful team?

Thanks for the post @TourIsOver

Look, I’m no therapist and please take everything I say with a grain of salt, but I’ve been where you are and come through it. To address the ex part. Mate it’s tough. They say time heals all wounds but thats all good and well decades on, doesn’t help in the now when it feels as fresh as yesterday. The worst bit is when you hang onto the pain, it becomes your only attachment with your ex. The pain BECOMES your ex. and you’ll hang onto that pain because its all you have of the ex. Your mind is tricked into thinking that having pain is better than nothing. It’s the worst thing you can do, trust me. It stops you from moving on, it stops you from being happy and it steals you of what is important…time.

Losing an ex is not great, but you need to also acknowledge the pain attached belongs with the ex and not allow it to become an entity in itself. It will become a part of you rather than the memory of your ex. You can’t allow it, letting it go is the only way to reclaim you “time”. It will be time you miss that you will eventually regret. Not the lost love.

As for your down days, it’s all linked mate, one thing won’t magically improve things, it takes a number of small simple things that all add up to something you can say works. It’s different for everyone and you will know in the recesses of your mind what you and your body craves.

For me I know that sunlight and corny as it sounds does help. Spending so much time indoors you can really feel the difference taking your coffee outside for 15 minutes. Being lazy is my middle name and I also know when I exercise, even for 20 minutes the difference that makes. Eating healthier. It’s all stuff you know but it does help.

As for the dons, well I can’t help you there. I do remember in the years when I was a teenager when the club was struggling, I took more enjoyment out of individual players and their development. Rather than focusing on the perils of the club, the ups and downs, I almost became a supporter of particular players and took enjoyment of their individual success. Brad Plain, Micheal Werner, Dean Wallis for example. Julian Kirzner was another, but i digress. But since the season is over it might be time to pick an english premier side to follow, a team with less emotional commitment than the dons than you can admire and follow.

Finally, you can always pop in here for a chat too. Talking helps.


Unfortunately the Essendon VFL team isn’t playing this year, that’s usually far less stressful viewing (unless it’s a close game and I’m relying on 3DJR and co for updates)


I hear you - your situation mirrors my experiences this past year.

At least after this weekend the season will be over, so can scratch the poisonous Essendon Influence from your life for half a year.

All the best.

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When I lived in Melbourne I used to attend all Melbourne based games. For the past 12 years I have been living in Sydney and have found watching the game on TV much more stressful. I hated the commentators praising the opposition so I turned the sound down. Then I started switching it off in disgust if the opposition marked the ball on their forward line. This season I have hardly watched a game and I really don’t regret it given the effort they have put in. I hope they turn the club around soon so I can watch games in the knowledge they are at least having a red hot dip.

Funny thing is if I do go to Melbourne (pre Covid) I can sit out the game, even if we are being thrashed, as before. It’s TV/streaming that gets me.

You have a very difficult situation and I wish you all the best. In the end I’m sure those EFC players wouldn’t attend one of my basketball games, cheer for me and stress out if I lose. Don’t let it get to you - switch off if it helps.

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Works everytime. And get a good warm tracksuit so your comfortable.

I have a few different routes for my walk. Like to pass the odd coffee shop or bakery :slightly_smiling_face: and just change scenery.

My mind works better than it would have otherwise everytime.


Don’t know how much football news you get into during the week, but I’ve felt better this year by switching off from all the hot take media such as SEN, Fox Footy, Herald Sun social media etc.

I get less worked up, less consumed but not less informed. It’s quite a relief when you realise that all the incessant football chatter is complete garbage.

Also, tuning off from BomberBlitz a little bit might help. However for some people it’s also a community.

Call a friend, family member or someone you trust to make sure they know you’re having a tough time.


I agree. If you are not enjoying the games, do not watch. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from the club. You should not feel any guilt about that.
Mental health should be the number one priority. Seek professional help if that is an option. Also, healthy eating and exercise has helped me. The weather is getting a lot better so a walk outside in the sunshine makes a difference. Good luck.

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TheRealist - I have also lived in Sydney for the last 15 years having escaped Melbourne. It is so much harder to watch our games on TV. I have tuned out the last 2 years as l was getting way to angry. I was losing the ability to just realise that it is just a game and if we lost it would dictate my mood for a few days.

Agree with your advice. Switching it off does help

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I used to enjoy watching any footy full stop, but something has changed this year. I just can’t watch other team’s games after horrendous Ess performances. AFL is providing me with little joy or entertainment. I seem to enjoy NFL more these days. It has the hardness that AFL is trying to kill off. I’m considering switching off for a while until certain names at the club are gone. They’ve had their time and failed.


It is a very challenging time for all, especially those, like myself living in Metro Melbourne. And I strongly urge anyone battling mental health to reach out to people and not suffer in silence.
If anything, covid has reinforced the concept that football is really just a game and that it’s not worth taking too much to heart. We are only supporters and have no control of what happens on field or day to day at the club. It’s worth taking a step back and putting things into perspective.

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Yeah same, I was actually hoping the season would be cancelled outright. Easiest thing to avoid any football (esp if you live in melbourne) is don’t watch the 6pm news (esp ch 7), log off / avoid websites etc football related.

Past few years I’ve booked OS trips round septmeber/october, which doesn’t help this year.

The other thing I’ve noticed in here is how many people seem to have ‘mates’ that text/msg them after a loss. I have never experienced this with any of my mates (even work mates), who all fall into the following:

Don’t care about how crap whatever sports team I follow is
Are sympathetic
Think their team is worse

Maybe I’m lucky and just don’t associate with immature ■■■■■.


Same, my friends know that I really don’t appreciate it if they text me or rub in our bad performances- so they don’t do it. And vice versa


Funnily enough i’ve got a mate at work that was suffering with low level depression for years, then in 2017 it all lifted, he is a richmond fan and legit says their success was the biggest trigger in helping his mental health issues.

Great post and I agree and follow many of the things you’ve said to keep myself of sound mind just in everyday life.


I realised mostly this year that watching the footy wasn’t that important to me, it was who I watched it with.
This year has been tough on myself and many others. I’ve been down alot and my wife noticed it more so the last 6-8 weeks. I kept brushing it off as “im ok” and “there are many others worse off than me”. Anyway, I reckon since the North game I’ve watched about 10 minutes all up of our games, often switching off 5 minutes into the first quarter. So Essendon this year didn’t actually affect my health, it was who I watched it with.
Prior to this year for about the past 5 years (since I got married) every Friday night I would race home from work, have a bite to eat then head to my parents house. I would usually get there about 1/4 time and watch the Friday night games with my dad, regardless of who was playing. If we were playing he might come to my house and if we were playing in Vic I would always go to the games as he goes each and every week.
So every Friday same routine, watch whatever crap game was on (even watched Carlton vs Saints last year) have a coffee and a general chit chat.
Obviously with curfew this year, we can’t do that now. I still go there and bring them food but get kicked out at 7:30 because my mum worries ill get a fine, so I’m basically there for 15 minutes. It took me to the verge of a breakdown 2 weeks ago to work out this was a major part of it.
Last Saturday I left work early, got to my dads at half time and watched the second half with him. Seriously, I didn’t even know how much we lost by, I was just glad I was able to watch the footy with him (yes I broke the law but ■■■■ you)

Anyway Tour, do you watch the games with anyone? Did you watch it with your ex? You can take a break from the club/game but work out what you miss the most in terms of the footy that you can (kind of) control.


That’s perfectly understandable. Hope is all powerful. As is the lack of it.

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