Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Sam Hutchinson has opened up about the dark days that he went through as he felt his football career was over at the age of just 21.
Hutchinson was picked out as a future star for Chelsea in his youth but a knee injury forced him to retire before he showed any of his potential.
The thought of having that taken from him sent the Londoner into a spiral of depression during which he admits he had ‘some bad thoughts.
However, as Wednesday prepare to take on his old club in the FA Cup this weekend, Hutchinson has credited his partner Jennifer for literally dragging him from his bed and helping to eventually relaunch his career in South Yorkshire.
A return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday will be a poignant occasion for the 29-year-old.
"I think it will be like a closure," said Hutchinson.
"Then it's done. No more injuries, touch wood. It will be a celebration. Fingers crossed we can win."
The dark period in his life has been brought to the surface again because of this cup tie.
Wednesday fans only know the tough-tackling, bolshy who played every game as if it was his last.
Hidden beneath, though, are years of struggles physically and mentally.
"I didn't speak to my mum and dad for a year-and-a-half, two years," he said. "Literally, it was just me and my missus (Jennifer).
"I used to record Homes Under the Hammer, wake up at like two o'clock and sit watching it under a blanket.
"She'd come in from work and be like, 'What are you doing with your life? You need to start playing football again.'
"I was severely depressed. I had some bad thoughts and everything like people in that situation go through.
"But if you want to help yourself, and you know you're in that state, it's only you that can get out of it.
"Now I'm mentally so much stronger for it. I'm in a good place."
Recent troubles in Sheffield where he was pushed out of the picture by former boss Jos Luhukay rekindled some of the darker moments. However, Hutchinson’s young family have helped him to find perspective.
"My three kids are my saviour," he added. "You look at the joy on their faces when you walk in and that's all I live for.
"When you're like that and you're in that kind of state that I was, you'd look to blame anyone apart from yourself. I didn't have anyone else to blame, so I blamed Chelsea.
"But honestly they were fantastic with me, they looked after me so much. I was part of Chelsea from the age of seven so I was part of the furniture.
"They brought me up as a kid, and they made me who I am today as a player, as a person, and a man. I just felt at home there."