Sporting star Clare Shine pens brave open letter to her younger self

Sporting star Clare Shine pens brave open letter to her younger self

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team and Glasgow City striker, Clare Shine has written a brave open letter to her younger self. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

The Douglas native, who is currently signed with Glasgow City, has spoken about her experiences of suicidal thoughts in the letter published by online sports platform, The Sports Chronicle.

The 24-year-old talks about the pressures associated with being a renowned sports figure and the all-consuming identity her career once held over her.

"It will feel like everyone you meet already has high expectations of you, and with those high hopes comes a lot of pressure," Clare writes.

"You will learn how to separate being a player and person in time but, please be patient with it," she continues.

Clare recollects the loneliness and sense of isolation she once felt as a result of her mental health struggles:

"As much as it may seem like nobody understands the terrifying thoughts that take over your whole way of thinking, the people closest to you will love you no matter what and no matter how hard it may be for them to hear those dark thoughts from you."

The brave letter then goes on to detail Clare's problematic relationship with alcohol:

"While there are some things I wish I had done differently, I am now stronger for having come through certain experiences and wiser as to how to handle situations when they arise.

"You might think, for example, that alcohol is your best friend and helps to ease that pain. 

"But I can assure you that it only feeds that devil on your shoulder telling you to have 'one more'". 

Cork soccer star Clare Shine with her niece Emily after the Scottish Cup final win for Glasgow City last year.
Cork soccer star Clare Shine with her niece Emily after the Scottish Cup final win for Glasgow City last year.

In a harrowing description of some of her darkest days, Clare speaks about nights spent in distress:

"All of those nights you end up walking home because you spent your last tenner on a drink you probably didn’t need. 

"It’s a battle that you will never win on your own."

Clare goes on to outline how she reached out to Pieta House a number of times and after seeking help notes that she felt "invincible and ready to attack the world once again".

Unable to find that self-love, which she cites as key to recovery, however, Clare relapsed and attempted to take her own life.

She offers her younger self a valuable piece of advice:

"You’re sick of continuously letting people down and feel that the world would be a better place without you. 

"But let me tell you something, the people who love you – and there are many who truly do care about you – will see things differently."

In a powerful conclusion to her brave open letter Clare writes:

"Right now, you’re known for your talent on the pitch, but it’s up to you to make sure that the person develops as much as the player does. 

"They need to work together, but the emphasis should be on the latter as sport will only last for so long."

It is honesty that consolidates Clare's letter, finished with three powerful words; "talk to someone."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this story you can contact Pieta House for 24/7 support at 1800 247 247 

You can also text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)

If you would like to read Clare's full letter visit https://www.thesportschronicle.com/

More in this section

Sponsored Content