Without the help of wife Tash, Port Macquarie Sharks president Zac Newcombe knows he wouldn't have survived to tell his tale.
A 10-year battle with mental health which saw him in and out trouble with the law reached rock bottom when he attempted suicide last year.
He was first diagnosed with bipolar in 2015 after several years of being left undiagnosed before a traumatic work injury suffered in 2019 started a downward spiral that nearly had a tragic conclusion.
Eventually he was admitted to a mental health facility last year, but Newcombe admits by that stage it was too late.
"There was nothing that was bringing me back up at that stage so I had an attempt at suicide," he said.
"I didn't really have any further visions. I was living day-to-day. My home life with my family started to be affected and I'd go for days and not talk to anybody in my family. I wouldn't even talk to my wife.
"If it wasn't for my family - especially my wife - getting me up to the hospital and basically demanding help, I don't know if I'd be here today and that's the honest truth."
He has experienced the highs and lows of mental health over an extended time.
"The lows get you when you're at your most vulnerable," he said.
And just when he thought he was on top of the medication to treat his bipolar, a traumatic work injury after he fell off a ladder in 2019 began his downward spiral.
"I broke my femur, tib and fib, tore everything in my knee and severed a nerve, so that took me to a new low," he said.
"It took my mobility away from me. I'd always worked."
What then followed was an addiction to the pain-relieving drugs that helped cope with the knee pain as well as spending money unnecessarily.
"Last year I dabbled in a bit of an opioid addiction. I got pretty hung up on what I was being prescribed and that was a new low," he said.
"I was spending money on pointless things that made me feel happy for an hour basically. Then you'd fall back in or end up on a three or four-day bender trying to bring yourself out of it.
"All you're doing when you do that is make things worse, but you think you're making them better."
While things are changing, Newcombe wants his story to resonate with everyone in the community and he says men in particular need to be more open.
"Men feel like they can't put their feelings out in the public because it's seen as weakness and vulnerability and men don't like putting themselves into those sorts of situations."
As the Sharks prepare to host Wauchope Blues in their Black Dog Institute charity day on Saturday at Regional Stadium, he hopes his story can help people in a similar situation.
"I was always brought up not to be weak so one of the hardest things to learn was to try and talk about things where still today I really don't talk about them," he said.
It's the first first time he has spoken openly about any of his mental health demons and the challenges he faced.
"If my story helps just one person to come out of their shell and put their hand up for help, that's an achievement for me."
Fifty per cent of the money raised from the jersey auctions will be donated to Port Macquarie mental health non-profit group Self Seen (Self Empowered Love Framework Secures Every Essential Need).
"If it wasn't for people like (co-founder) Benny Cudmore putting their hand up that it ain't weak to speak, it's been a big achievement in the Port Macquarie area," Newcombe said.
"That's who we are going to support this week for our charity day. We'll donate our money there."
*If you are thinking about suicide or experiencing emotional distress, help is available.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.