“If I can turn my life around from what I have been through, and still come back, then anybody can achieve anything they want to from life. I mean that.”
Overcoming the Darkness
Over the past decade Tyson Fury has struggled with obesity, depression, wild success and suicidal depths. By the summer of 2016, he was speeding out of control on a motorway. In a fit of clarity he pulled in and made the call. ‘Help me.'
What transpired was the first step on a road to recovery that saw him comprehensively defeat Deontay Wilder to go top of the heavyweight division. Amongst the big men, Tyson Fury is king.
Understanding Mental Well-Being
Mental well-being is something that gets a lot of 2020 lip-service, yet it is only when someone like Fury, at the pinnacle of his sport, talks about the depths of despair and pain and shame he suffered that we can begin to understand not just the scale of his successful return to boxing, but the recovery of any person afflicted with a mental illness.
Fury is a different kind of cat, as the "Gypsy King” moniker suggests. He proudly represents a travelling heritage where fighting is often considered part of the cultural fabric. His first name may give you a clue to his boxing lineage and the expectations that came with it.
Yet The Gypsy King’s trouble really hit after his initial success and a decade of discipline. There is no visible road map for the destruction depression brings, we can only be sure that many of the attempted paths out the darkness plunge the subject further into the depths. For Fury, it was food, alcohol and cocaine. He had a lot going on.
A comedian outside the ring, Fury makes people smile. Yet sometimes it’s the funny ones who are vulnerable. The laughs mask a turmoil they cannot comprehend or articulate, let alone alleviate without the help of the big three, as Fury partly demonstrated.
No one has all the answers. Doctors prescribe, therapists listen, friends stand-by but can never really understand. What is clear in Fury’s case is that he decided he wanted to be a Heavyweight Champion again. He had a goal, and along with his family and loved ones, had a reason to get up in the morning, even if the mood was grey.
Recovery is a Mindset
Recovery is a process and a mindset. Fury’s greatest legacy will be to anyone who feels they cannot go on. His clear articulation of recovery and how he ended up there cannot be dismissed. For the ordinary person it is priceless.
Fury’s trainer Andy Lee commented recently that his cousin’s job now is to show that anyone can recover, in any life, no matter the circumstances, and go on to live again. To thrive.
With that kind of mindset, what are we really, truly capable of?