Brisbane Lions scammer Archie Smith has endured eight horrific months off the field of heartbreak and grief. Now he has shared his brave story.
Smith’s younger brother, Sebastian, took his life last year at the age of 21 after suffering mental health problems. And it set Smith on a path to battling his own demons.
As part of a close-knit family of six, Smith and Sebastian – who mean the world to the Lion big man – have grown up inseparable.
Watch Toyota AFL Premiership Season 2021 Live & On Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try it for free for 14 days now>
“It hit him pretty hard. We internalize it mainly through some real self-destructive behavior but the main thing is that he doesn’t like what he sees in the mirror and has no way of convincing him otherwise,” Smith said in a The video was released on the Lions website.
“He convinced himself that he was a bit of a burden to the family. That what he went through is a liability to us.”
A night to celebrate Smith’s engagement to longtime partner Sophie last November will finally be the last time he will see his younger brother – who, along with Smith’s two other older brothers, Isaac and Abib, celebrates. groomsmen party.
Just two days later, Smith discovered that Sebastian had taken his own life.
“The engagement party itself was a miracle. It was one of the best nights ever, everyone we loved together in one place,” Smith recalls.
“I just remember this image seeing my three brothers walk into the party and just feel super proud.
“The engagement party will be the last time I see him. Two days after the engagement party, I got a phone call, probably the hardest one I’ve ever had, and it was Sebastian who had died by suicide. “
Smith described the period as a “shady period” and Sebastian’s funeral as “one of the worst days of my life” some of his Brisbane teammates attended.
“It’s something I don’t really want to live again, but it’s something I have to move on from now on,” he said.
It was the 25-year-old’s reaction to the tragedy that pushed him down his own path of mental health decline.
Smith actively practices pre-season as a coping mechanism for his pain.
It happened during a time when he slept only 4 hours a night and suffered from nocturnal terrors, panic attacks and anxiety.
“As an emotional bottler myself, I think the best thing to do is get back to training right away,” he said.
“So two days after the funeral, I was back training with the boys. Sometimes I would go from unbelievably angry to feeling nothing, flat. ”
It resulted in Smith being “out of pocket” and inevitably traumatized, with the Lions
“I didn’t sleep for about three months, we would work out at the local fast gym, the local foot oval. Take the dog for a walk, read a book, listen to music, that sort of thing,” he said.
“It’s mostly just to give myself a mental and physical break and give myself time to grieve, which I haven’t really done yet.”
The period of respite helped Smith get back on his feet, where he wrote eight pages of moes to serve as the foundation for his heartfelt video.
It also helped educate him about mental health and got him to take part in the ‘Push-Up Challenge’ – where he completed 3318 push-ups in 25 days in June – with the right number for statistics. about mental health and suicide.
Smith has returned to his roots, including his high school, St Laurence’s College and Morningside Football Club, to help educate others about mental health and raise funds for Headspace and Lifeline.
It helped put Smith back on the right track, but he admits he’s still dealing with the loss of Sebastian.
As a tribute, Smith writes Sebastian’s name on his wrist before each game to remind himself who he wants to play for, pledging to remember him in the good times.
“The fact that I miss my brother so much, I really do. I refuse to let his last act define who he is, because it is not. He has 20 years of living to the fullest,” he said.
“He was a wonderful, beautiful kid, whom I loved to death.
“I wish we would help him. Because I’ve discovered and met people with the right help who have gone on to live fuller and better lives.
“Actually it’s a real strength when you raise your hand and seek help, it’s not a weakness. It’s really a very difficult thing to do and everyone should be encouraged to do it.
“My main message going forward is to let people have hope.”
If you or anyone you know needs immediate assistance, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or through lifeline.org.au. In case of an emergency, call 000.