"I WAS sitting there, and I couldn't understand, I couldn't possibly comprehend why I was feeling so terrible about myself."

Tom Boyd had everything. 


A supportive girlfriend (now his fiancée), amazing family, a new Labrador, living in a great part of the world with a dream job earning $1million a year fresh off a starring role in the Western Bulldogs' drought-breaking premiership.


But he needed help. 

"I'm not a physical crier but I remember the last time where I was so distraught that I didn't know what was going to happen next," Boyd told Hamish McLachlan in the new series Last Time I Cried.  

"It was something like the 4th of July 2017, two days before I took time off. I was sitting there and I'd been having real issues with insomnia for a number of weeks at that stage.

"On that Tuesday I'd got to the end of my tether. I'd missed a couple of games but essentially it all stemmed from not being able to sleep.

"I was sitting at my house in Albert Park, middle of winter, (getting) the July blues like every year is.

"Everyone in my life was telling me how good I've got it and I'm just absolutely, 100 per cent miserable.

"I'm sitting there and I'm trying to work out what I'm doing next and there's not an amazing amount of positive thoughts going through my head at this time which you could imagine."


Knowing he wasn't going to be able to again front up to play on the weekend, Boyd picked up the phone to his psychologist – Lisa Stevens.

"My body wasn't going to handle it and my mind couldn't handle it. And I couldn't go on that merry-go-round I'd been going on," he said.

"That was the last time I felt so hopeless that I couldn't comprehend anything good happening in my life.

If I didn't get help, change some things and something didn't give, I didn't know what was going to happen next.

"That was some two-and-half years ago and it's been a general uphill slope since then.

"I'll never forget that day because, at the end of my story, for all the good things that have happened and all the bad things that have happened, if I hadn't have made that choice then to ask for help, I'm not sure what the next chapter would've been. 

"That was the hardest day of my life."

Boyd announced in July 2017 he was taking time away from the game before returning to play four VFL matches late in the season including two finals.

He played 12 AFL matches in 2018 battling various injuries before calling time on his career in May 2019 with two years left on a lucrative contract. 

"Consistently and constantly without trying I've bucked the trend and done things differently," he said.

"Not because I wanted to be different, just because I was trying to be who I was and I was trying to work out who I was.

Now I can be myself all the time and act accordingly and participate in life accordingly.

"It's so satisfying not trying to squeeze everyone into a profile that doesn't fit a lot of people. That's where I got my identify crisis from to a degree. 

"Now I have the option to choose." 

Last Time I Cried, presented by AIA Vitality, will speak to some of the game's biggest names including Trent Cotchin, Patrick Dangerfield and Campbell Brown

>> Lifeline is an Official Charity Partner of the AFL, which provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. It is a national charity and relies on community support. Donate online or call 1800 800 768 to support Lifeline.

For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.