Selby admits he has “no motivation” as he heads into the World Snooker Championship and hopes to defend his Crucible crown
The fool from Leicester was been vocal about his battle with depression lately and how it impacted his career at the top of the sport. He has sought professional help to get his mental health under control.
But before the World Cup, he admitted that ” snooker Goals seem irrelevant right now,” he said The sportsman : “I had no motivation and it’s hard to explain it to people other than people who did [depression]. It’s tempting to say, “Get lost,” but I just never know how I’m going to feel.
“I can wake up and feel a little bit better, then later in the day I’ll have a cloudy patch and feel a lot worse. It feels like I’m fighting myself every day but I have great support around me [wife] Vikki and the family and now this doctor.”
The Crucible title he won last year was the fourth of his trophy-filled career. The other three came at a particularly lucrative period in his career between 2014 and 2017, but while things were going well on the table, Selby was fighting a silent battle behind the scenes.
He admitted it Feeling “emotionless” as he lifted the trophy in 2016. “I remember even saying in my interview after the finals that it had been a tough couple of weeks that close friends and family would understand, I had withdrawn from a few tournaments before that and wouldn’t even go into the play worlds,” he added.
“In the end I agreed with Vikki to go and play and that hopefully the venue and atmosphere would cheer me up rather than sitting at home. It felt strange winning this year, but maybe I didn’t feel any pressure. That was me. I don’t expect anything from myself. But in the end when it should have been one of the best times of my life sharing it with Vikki and Sofia I was emotionless and held it up for appearances.
“While I was trying to get the doctor’s professional help and play at the same time, it wasn’t so much the actual playing that was difficult as it was sitting in your seat. As I sat at the table, I had things to think about and keep your mind active. But when you sit in my chair, you’re in your own headspace, thinking about everything else.
“It was life off the table, past experience, no snooker at all. Initially we agreed to keep playing if I could because of the danger of locking myself at home and curling up in a ball. That wasn’t the way to go , I wanted to keep myself busy, so I just kept going, playing is easy, fighting the demons in my head is hard.
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“Some days I’m fine, but I’ve had more bad days than good days, that’s why I’m in the position I’m in and why I’ve spoken out. Hopefully I can reverse that and that’s why I worked with his psychiatrist from London, first a few sessions a week, then one a week and a change of medication.”
While he’s no doubt hoping for more success in Sheffield over the next two weeks, Selby has a different priority for his time in the Steel City. “I’ll probably go to the Crucible with a different perspective and hopefully feel better about it. I have someone Whatsapp in a bad streak,” he said.
“I’ve been given many things to do and it’s up to me to do them. I’ve always treated snooker as a matter of life and death and the pain of losing was very intense. The doctor is sure that it has something to do with the loss of my father, because my mother left when I was young, when I lost him it was my whole family.
“I didn’t have anyone, the only thing I had to turn to was snooker and that became like a comfort blanket. He thinks that’s why I put so much into it and where I’m most comfortable. I’d like to look ahead for it would be a shame to be in the Crucible and not care if I win or lose.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/other-sports/snooker/mark-selby-mental-health-crucible-26724634 Mark Selby admits snooker seems 'irrelevant' as it aims to reverse battle with depression