July 22, 2024

The Silent Battle. 'Documentary' Mental Health & Addiction in Pro sport | Nile Wilson

Published May 21, 2023, 9:20 a.m. by Arrik Motley

Mental health and addiction are often seen as taboo subjects, especially in the world of professional sport. However, they are very real issues that affect many athletes. Nile Wilson's documentary "sport - The Silent Battle" explores these issues in depth.

Mental health and addiction are often seen as taboo subjects, especially in the world of professional sport. However, they are very real issues that affect many athletes. Nile Wilson's documentary "sport - The Silent Battle" explores these issues in depth.

The documentary follows the story of Nile Wilson, a professional BMX rider who has struggled with mental health and addiction issues for much of his career. Wilson opens up about his own experiences and interviews other athletes who have also battled these demons.

The film is an important look at a topic that is often ignored. It is eye-opening and informative, and it provides hope for those who are struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

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now Wilson with a opportunity to add to

Great Britain significantly already in

the position

how does it feel to hear your son

considering so what was your earliest

memories of Niall and gymnastics and and

and what he was like as a kid throughout

that time oh lovely little boy happy he

was fun

he was always laughing as a father I

always wanted I had this principle of

this mantra that I always wanted my kids

to laugh - memory of Niall was in a

gymnastics club I don't remember a time

when Niall wasn't in a gymnastics club

staff coaching now in this summer of


I've known Niall since well being six

years old started gymnastics together

that's how I'm aim and then grew up

through friends through that at that

time he was super competitive and

excited about the future and desperate

to be the best and was in a love for

gymnastics all men people it brings out

the best in you that's why I'd like

being around him surrounding myself with

him it's exciting when we were younger

like at he was about 13 out of 15 and a

bit younger I were used to go to town

together so go ice skating go cinema

today after training on the Sabbath

finish it one get on the bus go to town

usually trying to do like some double

days genuinely I've never managed anyone

like now I think he's a bit it's a bit

like trying to keep up with a runaway

train at times he's brilliant

he's very very creative I feel in a very

special position to manage someone like

now I used to think to myself is it just

because I'm his mum but I think he's

better than everybody else


- to Europeans into the senior squad

through into the Commonwealth Games at

18 years old competing the Commonwealth

Games in front of 15,000 people in the

hydro and Glasgow we we went into that

Commonwealth Games as a family ty knew

where we were

knew what was happening everything was

cool so after he competed try to go to

an Italian restaurant and singe or G

square that we've been to before for a

meal with Niall it's like being with

somebody from one direction


really proud to announce the Great

Britain men's team for Olympic Games


just the family just was all being there

was so special and like thinking about

that day and now on his medals still

gives me goosebumps and I'll always used

to like to find this way when wearing

the crowd so we've got that contact with

this any knew where we were was soaring

immediately and then at their own

overwhelming sense of pride regardless

of the outcome alright because there's

no outcome focused on that it was just a

fact that he was going through a process

and taking part and I wanted him to feel

the same way I did from a pride

perspective about being in that arena

and being involved



on the Olympic stage



he just started to blow up it just the

explosion had started and for me YouTube

was a new world

you know III didn't quite understand it

in the same way that I'd certainly do

now and it was just like a runaway train

with nyle you know it was every number

that we thought we couldn't be suddenly

got beat and you know one at one point

we're excited by thousands and suddenly

it was tens of thousand of there's

hundreds of thousand and then it was

millions this time l YouTube are you

doing alright look I mean I think we

were we were downstairs somewhere and

now it's got a camera and he starts

going hey up YouTube how you doing

you're alright welcome to another vlog

another may sound looks easy for them

well because we didn't understand it on

I do remember that first ever a UGC

video going viral and as messaging each

other calling each other going

absolutely crazy because the views were

just spike in the followers we just

spike in if you take our life one of the

pie charts in our life became YouTube

when it became about numbers and views

and how many you know and we all became

a part of it so when his blog go out

we'd all watch it you know we we became

a part of this journey that was kind of

YouTube drugs and it fits it starts of I

didn't start it did it felt like he was



to the rear I do

roly-polies County the well of soggy



there's always room for it you know it

wasn't there was in a day or a couple of

days that would go by where well not a

day where YouTube wouldn't come in to in

the same way that gymnastics would and

eating would and sleeping with it was

like YouTube became this this thing and

I think those definitely that was always

kind of I was sensitive to the fact that

that might need managing at one side you

conflict him because what he was doing

is as positive and he's exposing

gymnastics to so many people and you can

see that they loves doing it and he has

a passion for it but at the same time

like you said more people know him and

they're aware of him and that brings I

could see that was kind of bringing a

pressure maybe to him I it was something

that he was then an expectation or I

need to do this or he's come as a bit

part of his life and my perception was

that at times it wasn't necessary he was

always in enjoying that he always had to

keep up with it whether he was having a

good day or a bad day in the gym with

injury with anything

YouTube always non-negotiable he had to

keep up with it and I definitely

remember thinking this is exhausting for

him Wilson would need a massive

now Wilson adding to his wonderful

British effort in the artistic

gymnastics I drew this stock dismount

could make a difference excels when he

was actually competing he was on fire

and I mean he went into the Commonwealth

Games not even wanting to do all-around

I'm not even being able to do all round

because he had a problem with his hand

at the time we get there Lyle said I've

cobbled together a pommel routine I can

do all around he'd managed to prepare

quite well for the Commonwealth Games

you know just find a competition it all

came together and it kind of felt like

bang okay he's really at it now and the

games were so successful in terms of him

being back out there again after Rio a

multi-sport major event on the big stage

and really hitting those performances

and I do think the Commonwealth Games

was sort of the start of the end really

in terms of his fitness and his injuries

that Commonwealth Games with what I now

know to be the best and the worst at no

Wilson so much happened for him very

quickly when I first started managing

him we were talking about him doing

appearances for 500 pounds suddenly

within a matter of weeks numbers had

just inflated enormous Lee so it felt

like from not very much he suddenly had

an enormous amount of distractions away

from gymnastics but I guess it was when

I felt like at times he was falling into

a trap of believing that that was real

that's when I started to think I just

need to keep an eye on him because it's

not real and then as we progressed over

those months where he was he says

behavior seemed to be more erratic when

injury came they would knock him for six

it just seemed harder to keep him on it

on a level playing field after the games

and sort of in the wind and for that I


personally that's the first time when I

sort of saw things unwinding a little

bit with Niall we'd arranged our trip so

we deliberately stayed four or five days

after the competition had finished their

closing ceremony so we could spend some

time together as a family and in that

period of time he came to us on day one

he said I'm flying home you want me to

be on BBC news on Monday morning so I'm

gonna be on the counter and they've

offered me some money to to fly home so

I'm gonna go home I see him and I'll

we've kind of we're here for another

four five day suspension time together

he said well I'm gonna go home and I

want to see my girlfriend and I'm gonna

go back and we went out for the day

after we went out for this this meal and

I'll spend the whole of the meal on his

phone just trying to book flights to go

home and then the very next more anyway

that was just not Niall that was not

using math 15 PI Aires with the team and

then from there going straight into a

couple of bad injuries that left him out

of the World Championships that year in

the back end of 2018 and then just I

progressively getting slightly worse and

I think with each injury that came that

became harder I think then when he had

his neck injury you know that the 12

months that followed after that was when

you know it was quite clear that there

was there was a lot of things going on

for him style first like he was so he's

revolved around going out it was more

will going out to hide something so it

wasn't just going out so funny it was we

were just gained absolutely obliterated

that's kind of when I first noticed to

be honest then he just talked to me he

opened up and said you know I'm not

doing quite well

incrementally things started to change

and part of the part of the change was

that I'd moved out he was kind of very

very successful very high-profile very

in demand you know Sally and I felt out

of control because he was living on his

own Danny's flat income starting to come

in in in gymnastics environment where

people generally don't earn money and I

was earning a lot of money because he do

too but everything he's doing

so that so incremental a behavior we

started to notice a change I thought I

think it was a slow burner I think I

think it was gradual which made it

difficult for anyone to see but I think

there was key moments that kind of

tipped it beyond and I think the neck

injury and surgery and then everything

that followed that was a was a big

tipping point but I think it had been

bubbling along up to that point it was

just any kind of fell off the cliff


life-threatening injury the apologies

for the scare for the shock the chapter

a different chapter to my professional

career come back stronger fear bear

athlete better person for free inspire

oh so the moment flipped my life upside

down I was in Germany we was we was

doing it because Squad come in the

beginning of February 2019 and I had had

trouble with my neck for for about ten

months leading up to this point at a two

epidural injections in the area that I

was that was getting pain and I

basically had a bulging disc so it was

popping out and oftentimes a lot of

nerves are on there so I'm getting

paired I've basically done a tumble on

the floor as I hit the floor to rebound

to do another somersault

the disc is ripped in half and fully

bulged out and it came a little bit out

of the blue you know he had a landing

and he didn't think too much of it just

felt something but he'd kind of see him

take himself off and he looked a bit

worried but he was he was moving around

okay so my lovin asked him he said I

just felt something but I think it's

okay but he could see he was concerned

didn't know what the ramifications is

what just doesn't work as I need to for

the beds were in Germany and it took

sleep well Nepos see my physio on I will

be better off on that night in we was

like in a hospital in Germany beds like

would single single beds laws like to

play fee from the room

and I was just I was an absolute ten at

ten all alone it all down my right arm

absolute agony so I need a suit to get

rid of this pen and where I was miss

this one the first time I've done this

by I went online gambling sites that

play roulette with real money and for

the for the whole night pretty much from

6 o'clock til midnight I played it on my


and it was difficult I think for him

because he'd not had a massive accident

where he could you know you could see

there was a big accident he was like

that's gonna hurt it was like from the

physical side it was you wouldn't know

that anything had happened that the

worst nicely when I woke up the next

morning to this they had no idea how I

got home on that flight every step that

I took it was like an explosion went off

in my neck for me it was hard because

you trying to stay positive as a

coaching trying to say a lot no let's

deal with it we've been here before it

might be okay you know this might not be

as bad as what it feels right now I try

and make it comfortable listen to the

medical advice but then quickly after a

day he was he was in agony and then I

got a scan book straight away as soon as

he got from my firm I was back up on the

roulette got the new got a new birth for

Scott machines you spin the wheel spin

the wheel

we sign that the scanning we're in rooms

been in the world

I won't even engaging with with the

doctors of anything that we do you know

I was just sure [ __ ]

got newborn as I go um I thought well

what am I gonna do now this exact 3:00

in the afternoon I mean all this pain

there's no way I'm gonna be at the gym

tomorrow I walked out the Tesco bought

the champagne and fr sighs and I gave up

got some ice put it on my neck and a

little bit like I just completely numb I

lay it on my being back upon Netflix

series on and pretty much for that five

day five to seven day period aside my

flat watching Netflix drinking our


I think after the neck injury it was a

game changer in his behavior and he was

definitely going out more I was

definitely drinking more

I knew that gambling was has been a

problem for him in the past and it's

difficult to know whether he was or not

but I'd get little warning signs or here

you know from him that and I knew from

my own experience that often when

someone's in those difficulties what

they tell you is about 40% of the truth

so when he tell me something I'd know it

was probably worse than what I was

telling me so that was going on and he

just seemed to be withdrawing is the

best way I could describe it was

withdrawing from his family he was

withdrawing not not massively from me

but a little bit he was just withdrawing

from all the things that seemed to make

him come alive up to that point in his

life you know the Nile I I knew up to

that point absolutely loved the journey

of everything he loved mastering a skill

in the gym loved creating content not

for the views for the content

he loved having a laugh with his dad he

let he loved you know all of those sorts

of things he loved being a good person

and he seemed to be sort of

disconnecting from all of those things

and withdrawing and then

became it felt like he became really

burdened burdened with pressure and

expectation and I guess where he felt he

was getting his own happiness from it it

wasn't happening for him I was there the

Tuesday morning saw the day after

literally the day after the surgery in

very serious surgery as you know the

immediate first few weeks was very very

hard because he wasn't allowed to do

very much at all and either do worry

denial and then of course visually he

wasted away I lost an awful lot of

weight because he wasn't doing

I always knew when niall that his

strengths were going to be his

weaknesses he's obsessive he's it could

get self-absorbed he could get

self-obsessed you know get an idea and

he will do everything he can to make it

come alive and those tendencies I knew

with him you know if he had a drink he

didn't have one drink he'd have as many

as he could

it was all part of that those kind of

addictive behaviors I knew mental health

his issues and very closely aligned with

that attack exactly remember when Easter

was but there was a run of three bank

holidays so it will have been fairly

soon maybe open soul mayor there and

then we were very very worried after

nyla bought his flight he wanted to do

some work on it

gamers want me to know it and myself and

Keith he was very good friend of money

that he doesn't work we cannot now fight

he's bought a load of new flooring that

he's in the flat and he sat on the nice

thing on his phone and I'm going you're

right and she's so quiet

it was so quiet and eat you up sure

you're okay you know asking questions

and so but and the reason I remember the

moment is right and this is not this is

not a criticism when he walked out Keith

says to me the [ __ ] up with him

miserable miserable get so you're

talking about my son seemed quite right

he said to me it's like look Baalak it

it's not the old fashion that comes from

my dad generation I barbecue no pull

yourself together

so now don't you got grape I look at you

you pull yourself doin okay

and I didn't I knew what I just knew the

Nile Wilson that I know you know have

known and grown to love and was my best

mate and we had done so many amazing

things together it was just completely

different that changed there's something

wrong with something not right he

actually cites marking and when when I

found that out I was just something I

remember there's a somatic and we've

both grown up so I've really really not

like in the fact that our parents worked

when we were younger and when the words

came out of his mouth that he smoked and

it wasn't just and I knew he'd had a

couple and he'd been drunk and things

like that but he actually said like the

words ice like I'm smoking like that

personally for me like really like tore

my insides apart and I found that out

and I you know from that point almost to

this although I am learning I really

struggled to connect to them and and

part of it part of the struggling with

the connection is as a parent I'm

mentioning its behavior right so I'm

seeing behavior on time my measurement

at George behavior I can't see what's

going on underneath

when I heard that he'd been solved

clinically diagnosed with depression I

was saw [ __ ] yeah okay I know and he

called me and I'd never heard I'd never

heard him speak like this up to that

point and I think it was I think it was

a cry for help in many ways but he just

sounded absolutely desperate he hadn't

he just sounded like he had nothing in

him it was just this vicious alpha

brilliant bloke inspirational it was

just a total shell and he cried and he

just didn't know what was wrong with him

and we had a big conversation and I as I

put the phone down

I got in contact with a British

pneumatics doctors immediately said I

think that he needs to be seen as soon

as possible in those moments they're the

biggest feelings are along like

loneliness is an isolation was massive a

heaviness you know there were a

heaviness to myself for having us in my

my mind very dark like a negative just

just aura and cloud for long periods of

time feeling lost being lost it's kind

of like why why am I like this and Who

am I

which he's a bolt out of the blue right


the big you know the nile wilson the

brand the profile they all go the

energetic the smile in the laughing the

person that people love that i love my


all or something says well I've got

depression I'm not I'm not qualified to

understand it I don't understand it

if I'll this happened I was a firm

believer in the genuinely depression and

the things I experienced would do a real

I just come from a background of a great

upbringing positive family and um

classes on myself and I've developed

myself as a professional athlete you

know and I've used techniques myself

talking and positive mindset and all

these stuff that which he game changing

things and I just looked at that that

person metaphorically that was depressed

it said you're choosing to be enough

place he wasn't able to say all the

times that is being able to say no

working towards competitions you know no

no drink obviously eighteen they're

legally allowed to have a drink it was

never it was never mad for it and and he

could really focus and channel prior to

a competition but it didn't have a

competition he didn't have a training

session to attend some aramony and he

didn't have a control comp to do in

front of his coaches there was nothing

at all so I suppose it just drank and

parted looking looking back over the

years you know and and the way it got to

in the height of the world where I was

feeling with anxiety and depression last

years it kind of the pain gots gets so

bad that I had to find a way to remove

it they couldn't sit when I come clock

was sitting with anxiety like crippling

anxiety all day every day

sad drink a gamble you know I was I was

spending three to five nights a week in

the casino on my own player ruler on my


you know gambling with tens of thousands

of pounds that he just then what happens

is when those are in in the mix every

day I'll Colin gambling like I'm an

athlete I'm a healthy person I'm a

success I'm an inspirational character I

felt so guilty so ashamed of myself but

I didn't the only way I could cope with

the pain in the first place was to do

that because it was scary Amit I

remember every morning when I put stupid

o'clock in the morning to revise I'd

always check when I'll had last been

active on whatsapp and it had always

been something ridiculous like 4:30 in

the morning and throughout the day I

think right throughout the day I'd

always just check I'm necessarily

messaging because anyone to annoy him by

just I always just check they've been

online just like it was okay but Julian

was piling part of the Ibiza crew which

by the way and I said I were going to do

a vlog we filmed the whole week we just

sent it to the review team and we

basically want allowed to upload any of

the footage so I mean and I can't

explain why but you can use your

imagination it just want a lime of my

brand had been a role model roughly you

know that that would be five days and

the beefer stays off camera doesn't make

it to the Internet

otherwise it'll ruin my career so my

background was from professional cricket

and I played for a long time and played

for three different clubs and to cut a

very long story short I just I got into

a pattern of behavior which was this

kind of work hard play hard mentality

which it's not unusual you know lots of

people do it but for me there was an

extremist to it which very much reminded

me of Niall when he's working hard and

he's on it he would be extreme but when

he was playing he'd be extreme and I was

the same and key things happen in my

life throughout that period that a bit

like his neck injury I had a bereavement

and and it definitely accelerated the

process but for me over that period of

time my behavior away from cricket

started to get more extreme my intensity

around work started to get more extreme

and they were feeding into each other in

a negative way and my mental health

started to deteriorate and I really

struggled with anxiety particularly

panic attacks depression and and then

the way I kind of tried to find escape

from that was with alcohol and partying

and it made it worse and I just went

down and down and down and I ended up in

a in a rehab facility and that was over

eight years ago and I've had to rebuild

my life so all of those tendencies that

we're talking about with Niall

he was exhibiting all of the same ones I


in him I told him I told him that we

were really similar and he meanoh knew

my my journey but there's that bit that

him for me my strength is that I'll have

this massive intensity to work but if I

don't manage it well and I don't manage

how I am in my own mental well-being I

need an escape and then the escape is

something I don't have control on

there's little bits conversations about

a gamblin more than anything and say you

know I've had a few few bad weekend's

where I've been gambling and I don't

think I can do that and you know I

really struggle with it and it's kind

like wow okay I didn't I didn't know

this but even for me I there was times

when I wasn't a hundred percent sure

what was going on but I I was sensitive

to it and that there were times when I

had to try and withdraw pressure from

him and there were definite times when

management where I'd say right four to

three months he's not doing anything and

I'd have to pull back sponsors pull back

appearances and just allow and bit of

time to to breathe and kind of seem to

get back on a level playing field but

what I found was that then when when we

would ease a bit of pressure back on it

would immediately blow up again I wasn't

aware that you know it was a major

problem I just thought he was making

some choices and things that his life

had changed and you know he had more

income and all these pressures and

people knowing him and he was just

making some choices and decisions and he

was young men he was trying to enjoy


so he was due to compete on the Saturday

of a week in August it sort of got back

like he always does from his neck injury

and was gonna compete again that week

and on the Wednesday at his freak nerve

related incident on his shoulder so he

couldn't compete on that Saturday and at

the time I was actually working at the

cricket stadium in Leeds and I managed

to Salt Nile and my family and a couple

of his friends out three tickets to come

watch the ashes and get a nice meal and

a sweetens to fight that never saw last

year when England were playing it

heading late and it was only Saturday

which we all got their fare card like

what ten at ten o'clock no no half ten

eleven o'clock man surmise so Joanna's

getting really frustrated because she's

arranged it the person that's kind of

due to meet and greet Niall because he's

not know so I'm getting more and more

frustrated the fact that so to me she

stood out I've always discussed with now

you know about manners and thanking

people and being polite to people and

engaging with people cuz the way that I

describe it is you just leaving these

brand stumps everywhere you go little

brands dealt with somebody a little

brown and start everywhere every single

time so turn the turn up late and they

clearly extremely hungover right I later

on fine now that although we would you

be down there for half nine they'd

finished drinking at seven o'clock so so

he literally had now asleep so he came

in and you you could tell he was

hungover so I was Cynthia I wanted

because I was getting myself frustrated

because of my self taught I just wanted

to say delete deliberately distance

myself from him there was a lack of

knowledge women a lack of engagement a

lack of apologies straight to the bar

the tickets that I got them where a

fully combi I'm Tammany's to friends

they basically just absolutely just rip

the hell out of it just abused it start

ordering quadruple treatments in a free

bar when you've been invited

something to me that but it's just

taking the piss it's rude right there's

just no need to do that so again you

leave me for instance

and I could see in his eyes he was he

was really really drunk but he was just

it's like he was a baby like a kid again

he was just crying for help and he just

kept saying that I didn't understand and

mum didn't understand and dad didn't

understand and then and then towards the

end of the day kind of the engagement

happening it just exploded honey and the

reason it exploded was it was because it

was all about the behavior on the day

but then he spread wider than it spread

wider for me like she had a conversation

when they put tonight and I said you

know I'll be I'll be really honest and

they're probably going to watch this

right I said you may sit [ __ ]

because you as a parent you're looking

for blame and sometimes sometimes it's

it's hard to find blame on your own

doorstep so you look for blaming you

think our largos outward now at Luke and

ash who can actually influence now if

Niall wasn't with Luke and a snarl of a

different version of myself but because

he's with them so so then you've got

this and this attachment that says well

local Asha [ __ ] and just making you

into a [ __ ] right and they're not

well of the boats he's completely unfair

but that's what you think as a parent

because you think of he wasn't there

maybe we'll be drinking and smoking and

doing whatever turned into not being fun

we're just not communicating not

laughing not having the banner it was

just get me another drink will drink it

get me love a drink the sole solution

was to get [ __ ] up that's a barrister

look about now I'd say that was about

very unhappy similar but all you have

not used the word depressed before but

to be honest probably war and then I

kind of didn't except where I was I was

probably made it worse and I was fired

was just him so I was sound sound minded

alright I was fine I needed him at that

time and I think he needed me

we weren't good for each other but if I

didn't have him at that time I don't

know what would have happened the

certain things you don't want your

parents involved in and

as a parent again we've discussed many

times you want to fix it you want to put

your arms around him and you want that

to be enough to make everything all

right but in this situation it's not so

it feels like relationships change to an

extent where I just feel nails going a

pathway that I can't and don't want to

follow a milestone I'm going to go to

the Olympics

all of his actions match somebody that's

gonna go nowhere near the limb takes

Nile being this big brand this big

persona of you know the epitome of

happiness engagement having fun putting

a smile on your face yeah backwards it

was kind of like you used to use

language food now I'd say some lollies

Niall and I have always had an

absolutely fantastic relationship but

the person that he was becoming I didn't

like and I know that he didn't like that

person either but we've we've always got

on we've always had a great bond and

then to see that person that you thought

you knew or you know nyah

it wasn't Niall anymore it sounds so

selfish and I've sports him Bobby Farber

like I kind of started to limit my time

of him

tried cheering my pissed off but you all

just saw down and like I can tell

straight away as soon as I walk in the

room I know every Tsar is not and at

that point it was constantly really I

was becoming a person I hate it

that my friends head my family

and I knew I was pushing everyone that I

loved away from me

I was losing everything and I I didn't

know how to to change puffs again like I

didn't know how the cycle that I was in

I had accepted it embraced it and that

was my way of life I couldn't figure out

how to get out

we are snail to come here to talk to him

and he'd been aware a little shawl all

week and I honestly believe it had a

trigger whilst being away at Lily shoal

and the discussion that Neal and I had

with him made the situation worse they

wanted a chat and I knew what was coming

you know from a parent's perspective you

want to fix things you want to the

change that had happened they don't want

it to be anymore so I was going there I

knew in my head I was going to get told

off and I hope that the conversation

would go well and to be honest it went

worse than ever imagined

emotions were flying high things were

said that hurt me down to my car because

remember the bubble that I'm in saw

crippling and the shame and guilt

I'm already putting on myself and the

loneliness I feel because of where I'm

at it just times dit by 10 because I've

lost my parents they didn't understand

the Tollman office said they would

they've never been filled with his

little pride for that son and it's

completely understandable because that's

they want it to be fixed and the

daughter know how to fix it so they're

just trying the best but that was the

point that I've reached my lowest

because I'd lost everyone then I knew in

that moment I'd lost my parents and it

led me to leaving the house in in

hysterics and tears it's horrendous to

think back to this moment I drove home


assigned a car back for what was over an

hour with thoughts racing through my

brain that were very very scary all I

was thinking was I want to switch this

off I don't remember the night as such

but I do remember the phone call and

like having that bit you know he talks

about depression he spoke about before

but that was a time when it was a bit

fear just the way of speaking in his

voice like very dark really thing I

remember pretty much when to get him

straight away

that's how that card government I'm not

going like there's no chance in the

state I told him what had happened and I

don't know whether he'd send something I

heard some within my voice but he's just

like now I'm coming to get you now he

just drove straight over and you know

kind of made me do something so I

shouldn't my jeans on we went out to the

restaurant it must have been horrendous

for him because of the place that I was

in mental in but I was I was so grateful

in that moment that I did something you

know I was busy and I'm so grateful my

best pal Luke was there in a moment like

that definitely when he left that said

to win sorry

keep in touch and he sent me a message

the next day they just said um please

bear with me give me some space which so

I just erm okay you know it contacted me

back but it was a week with nothing of I

was so hard when I left here I just saw

God we've messed up here well you know

it was just completely going wrong balls

down as he's trying away I never thought

that he would think right I could take

my own life this complete thing and

being the most terrified you've ever

been in your life in the PTAs come on

because you your son would consider you

know consider that the really really

awful part of it is it feels like you

I've proven it I've driven him to feel

that way where he could leave my house

and go to his own house and sit and

contemplate taking his own life can't

explain that really as a mother that

I'm experienced suicide firsthand an

ex-boyfriend of mine commits suicide and

you have to tell yourself that it's an

illness otherwise you'd send yourself

crackers you have to say that you know

the beyond help and the beyond but

that's tragic isn't it that a person is

beyond help and for that to think that

that she's son that's beyond help

is hardest thing of all I saw it's so

difficult to talk about this time in

this moment for me it was the lowest

point the way my farts were and I

couldn't couldn't get out of my head and

not wanting to be here anymore like the

pain was that bad and I just felt so

lonely and lost that I just wanted to

switch it off and I didn't necessarily

were thinking about what I was doing or

what I was going to do it was you know

things like well the Instagram feed of

look like I had visions of the head

coach lining the boys up and telling the

story and it was like that for a long

period of time it was so scary and

although this was the lowest point of my

whole life at I'd like to think now it

was a really powerful moment because

hitting rock bottom like that you are

forced into a corner and I felt like it

was the trigger for me to choose a

different path and that kind of embraced

life at that moment and thought you know

what I need help here and I'm willing to

get help and I'm willing to do anything

to never feel like that again you know

was it cried for help or did he really

feel he was going to do something like I

in my naivety for we would have that

conversation then the next day would

ring him up and say do you want to do a

podcast and he'd go yeah completely

naive you know completely bonkers on my

part because I just you know I was

driven by wanting things to be normal

but not knowing how to get back to


and your son or your daughter or family

member ever saying to you I thought

about taking my own life it's just well

there are no there are no words

I felt like after heading like that that

was the time for me to make an

intervention my big thing for him on

that evening was you you've got to start

owning your responsible yep owning your

behavior rather taking responsibility

you need help for sure but you're going

to have to own what you do so that means

if you need help and you want to change

the cycle you're in own it and let's

move forward with it and I'm gonna hold

your hand and we're gonna get through

this you have to do that and it you're

on this now yeah it's my feelings of

anxiety in the law mood and the pain I

had was never it wasn't just gonna lift

however I could make decisions and

choose to try different things instead

of embracing the negative spiral that

was in and I got so much help instantly

thank God I'm in a position I am I was

able to be aligned to the therapist in

the psychiatrist straight away from

British and Gnostics medical medical

team and you know having someone that

Luke's on my manager in my life who had

been through a similar process he was

willing to kind of hold my hand and and

help me along that journey and it was

just it was one day at a time from them

from the very start and it was maybe you

know could I get to Friday and could

could I even know I felt horrible inside

could I just do this weekend without

drinking it was before I want it think

it's made me understand I might learn a

lot about where I was and where now what

time so I may be done things slightly

differently but I don't regret because

it's definitely changed Who I am now so

I think that he had got into a place

where his whole happiness was defined by

what was happening in the gym and what

was happening online so if a video did

really well it gave him a sort of a mini

little buzz of happiness and

what-have-you if he was doing well in

the gym he got that feeling of being

that kind of superhuman inspirational

gymnast but it never lasted because

there was nothing much underneath it you

know he was so stuck in this pattern and

I think he drifted away from the things

that made him happy being with the

family being the

type of person he wanted to be on the

earth and got caught in this not real

world and that including included

gymnastics achievements of believing

that if I win that medal I will be happy

and he got caught in this little trap

and I think the biggest changes he's

made is being able now to take himself

out of that and get back to being nyle

that fascia skid that we all love that

where he finds that happiness of and

then going off and playing at gymnastics

and playing at YouTube and playing a

business but knowing that in his core

there's something now that makes him

truly happy seeing the therapist and

trying to really understand what was

going on in my life and how I got to the

point that I was and being a witness to

it was an absolute game changer for me

and then just slowly changing my habits

discipline with my sleep you know a

little bit better

enjoying my exercise you know focusing

on the journey and the process of just

doing gymnastics again instead of me

being so annoyed that I'd brought my

neck and I've got a broken shoulder and

I may not be able to got the Olympics

again it was just one day at a time and

then I guess the people that you

surround yourself with was absolutely

paramount for me try alive enjoyable

conversations I think he's he's in a

much better place and help me an expert

in these things I think that it seems to

me that he's in a much happier place in

the gym he looked more like the 15 year

old and a 7 year old that he's engaging

with gymnastics and thus far that he

loves and and wanting to do that again

and getting enjoyment from that anguish

it's a really difficult challenge

probably for an athlete that has mental

health struggles addiction struggles

because I'm a big believer that physical

activity probably is a good thing to

engage in when when you're going through

those kind of things but path I guess

Nyles mental health struggles is is

connected to his spot Neil and I will

say to each other you know have you

spoken out today yet how did he seem

always really upbeat so it seemed a bit

you came on Sunday

it was a bit subdued on Sunday and a bit

law a lot of yawning you know I'm here

I sleep in our I didn't sleep last night

you did we care mean weird did you go

out you know all these mom questions

both yeah definitely and I would say it

over fifty percent of the time at the

moment is is his back all things a big

old journey I think they'll be he's come

a long way but and he's still such a

young man that I think that they're

still going to be a bit of a journey

along the way but I think you'd be

really proud of where he's at now I

don't know if any of us are you know I I

even for myself it's eight over eight

years since I went into the Priory and I

still know that I've got to keep working

on myself and there's times when I slip

back into mental traps of believing that

you know if this doesn't happen in

business then that's gonna be the end of

the world and I end up in a place that

that is not healthy for me and I will

have those challenges for sure and both

when things go well and things don't go

so well but I do think he's got an

anchor now he's aware of his behavior

back on that exciting pathway when you

speed him didn't show he's just talking

about constant ideas I mean just watch a

bout football and he's gone about what

come vlog would call me McGregor next

year and where it's gonna go the

Olympics 2020 which is that's the now I

love that's well that's what I want and

the the easiest example to give is is

Olympians because I think Olympians are

are extraordinary people I'm not just

saying that because an isle they really

are a Premier League footballer plays 50

60 games a year as many moments in a

game where they can shine or not shine

Olympian is on a four-year cycle and

then a gymnast has one routine by and

large it messes up that routine it's

done it's over it's a really strange way

to live to live your existence so to be

an Olympian

and they did that this goes across the

range of all sports by the way but

specifically for an Olympian you have to

be absolutely obsessed with what you're

doing you have to be extraordinarily

focused you're gonna have to deal with

trying to perfect something again and

again and again you're gonna have to

often push aside anyone else's interests

and just be about you because it's

taking up all your energy or what you're

going to do you're probably a pain to be

a girlfriend or a boyfriend too you've

got to have all those the kind of traits

then add in the fact that you're going

to have these moments of utter euphoria

where you'd land your dismount an

Olympic final and you're going to feel a

rush of emotions that is virtually

impossible to replicate at any other

time the Mormon that we experience less

than 1% of the population get that that

you've grafted your whole life to

achieve and you get this and then you go

on to the riches and the the fame and

the attention and the social media buzz

I didn't realize that that wasn't that

wasn't real is in it it's real it's very

very real in that moment but I'm

constantly seeking it I didn't I didn't

not at that point that the only way to

get our feeling again is in the next

four year cycle then you've got social

media on top of it where you've got not

just thousands you've got hundreds of

thousand millions of people watching you

giving you affirmation telling you how

wonderful you are or how horrible you

are that person is in this melting pot

and the strain on them for their mental

health is going to be very very big and

often someone who gets into addictive

behavior problems has all of those

characteristics because it's that level

of intensity that they bring to life

that needs an outlet when I'll go out

and drink you bring the same intensity

to it went out whenever gamble got me

with 100 pound one or four vodkas

weren't enough because she's constantly

seeking and searching for this buzz and

this feeling this hit that's not real

with that kind of melting pot of all

those things in going on I think

professional sports going to be pushing

out people with mental health and

addiction issues

a long time to come I just wanted to go

back to loving the gymnastics again

training like in unlike that

seven-year-old lad that just had an

absolute passion for the spot and he

worked hard every day you know creating

content I just wanted to make people

smile and provide value instead of I'm

doing this for 10 million views and lots

and lots of money and what I found was I

fell into this trap and what I've

learned with the therapy that I'm doing

is I was defining myself by those those

end points by those girls when actually

a lot of athletes have talked about this

when you get there this is something

called the Olympic come down you get two

Olympics you train your whole life for

it then it's like now what and I

experienced that on a very high level a

lot of athletes do experience in that

the trap that I was in is I would

defining myself by the success and by

the endpoints and I needed to get those

to feel fulfilled and happy when that

that's a dangerous place to being and

then when injuries would come around

I'd be crippled you know it was it was

all or nothing and what I really

realized was the journey to the success

the journey to happiness was the

happiness it's one of those things

that's an ongoing progress and I've

learned that when nyle wants to talk he

will talk and money doesn't he want and

just being able to respect that and

getting used to that myself for two

people going through you know you went

through now the knowledge through you

what would be your advice the

communication talk first thing like

especially guys out there if you know

think oh it's not a manly thing to do

you know to open up to cry well at first

I was like now the opposite talks a lot

I was very shot but he had talking so

much bad when she gets fit talk late

she'd get off your chest he feels so

much bad weather you've even you know I

even solved anything

yeah you just feel bad just lighting

someone none you never know what I'd

advise someone could give you if they

had been for as well if they were hiding

summer and as well like you open up

sometimes it might get someone else to

open up you know where I'm sorry today

and what I've learned and thank God I

asked for help along this journey is

there's this something underneath

there's a bubble underneath that is


to what you choose to do in life that is

happiness you know your relationships

who you are as a person don't have to be

an athlete to be happy I'm I'm a human

being and and when I've got that now I

feel much more bulletproof with what

life throws at me the successes and the

failures you know I feel like I can cut

with anything

because I've got this underlying bubble

that I'm that I protect and that every

day I can come back to and said you know

what I didn't make the Olympics but I'm

still a human being and I'm happy you

know what I want Olympics I'm a champion

I'm a gold medalist but I'm coming back

some bubble and I'm happy [ __ ]

happiness if that comes from gymnastics

and winning Olympic medals then that's

fantastic what if it comes from finding

inner peace and creating content and

doing other things that don't involve

medals and resorts then that's

absolutely fine as well easy happiness

easy I set my goal for this year and I

know he's this honor I really hope

self-actualization you know what really

makes him content and I wish for him

everything that he wants and that makes

him happy I want not to be happy and I

think once he's got that he's capable of

anything I wanted to wrap up by saying

why we I we created this it's just the

raise awareness really because in the

bubble I was in I had no idea what was

going on to me and if if one viewer one

family one parent couldn't watch this

going through a similar time and a very

difficult time in their lives and

resonate with some of the words we've

said some of the stories that we've said

resonate with some of the behavioral

issues and and the way that I explained

how I felt and then that helps just one

person one family well

Aaron one athlete then we've done our

job career in this field and I just

think we should be kind to each other I

think we should remove judgment and you

never know what someone's battling

through internally and moving away from

your high profile person you know he

friends your family someone's acting up

at work

I think being there for him is just

talking and like we said talking through

this journey as as essentially saved my

life for me removing your judgement and

just being there being kind asking if

there are care is one of the most

powerful things we can do as as human

beings and humans love humans and for

those in that place there is a way out I


with that being said thank you so much

for watching this film I love you all

lots train smart keep it real


this is how legends are made



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