Media outlets love to get their story. They love to “judge” without knowing all the facts. What “Battling the Blues” does, is give you the facts straight from the man himself. Darius Boyd has written a brave, raw and incredibly honest book, using at times his own journal as the backdrop to illustrate how he was feeling.
Player. Captain of his team. Friend. Son. Grandson. Husband and father. Every one of those words can apply to Darius Boyd. His talent on the field for the NRL, Australia and Queensland is unquestioned. His demons that he carried into those battles unknown.
Statistics, awards and premierships are all exceptional feats to achieve but when you have inner demons and battles such as a father you never knew, a mother with her own mental health concerns and devastating loss of some of your nearest and dearest….something has to give.
For Darius, the catalyst was the horrific spinal injury to good mate and Newcastle Knights teammate Alex McKinnon. This broke Darius. It made him realise that he needed help more than he needed football. This was the catalyst that encouraged him to check into a mental health facility and try to move forward with some of his demons.
Battling the Blues, while raw and honest, should also be celebrated. Darius has worked hard to open up and reveal who he really is. He is able to celebrate his triumphs on the field. More importantly for him, he has been able to reveal how to deal with depression, overcome adversity and live with the mental illness that has been part of his life.
Darius is known to use his life story, to use his experiences and spread the word. Whether that be into boardrooms, schools and footy clubs, if it helps just one person, he has completed an incredible job. Its a quest to keep our young men alive, to encourage more men to be vocal about mental health.
Heading into retirement, Darius finishes up his final season as an NRL player with some incredible statistics. Perhaps the best one of all is the addition of a new baby in 2021.