OTHER In an interview with England's Daily Mail newspaper, Craig Bellamy is open about his depression. Missing his daughter caused a negative spiral. Now things are going a little bit better.
"In August I returned home for my daughter Orla's first birthday. There was a party and she didn't know who I was. I held out my arms, but she wouldn't come. Why would she? She had only seen me eight or nine times. No more than 24 hours each time. I wasn't really part of her life."
"There was family. If I went to her, she didn't want to know about me. She went to her cousins and other relatives. I went outside and started crying. I didn't know what to do. Was I supposed to walk away and never come back? Was I supposed to go to soccer and leave someone I love behind? Should I stay in her life?"
Working with Vincent Kompany was the job of a lifetime for Bellamy. "The beginning was brilliant, until Covid showed up in March 2020," Bellamy says. He lost loved ones and could not say goodbye to them in the hospital or go to their funerals.
Last year, Bellamy returned home for Christmas. His daughter was several months old at the time. "My anxiety started to grow then. Sometimes I thought 'Why did we bring this girl into the world? We brought her into such uncertainty.' I felt myself becoming more antisocial. And my social skills were already not great."
Bellamy was also becoming increasingly lonely in Brussels. Because of covid, friends and family still had difficulty visiting. A sense of guilt toward his baby daughter Orla and teenage daughter Lexi took hold of Bellamy. He was not there for them, he felt.
"My heart broke. I felt again the loneliness I felt as a child," he refers to the period when, as a 15-year-old, he left his family for soccer. "Your stomach turns over, you become anxious, you don't breathe normally anymore. Every night I cried myself to sleep."
"There was a moment when I told my family to forget about me, that I wouldn't come back. I began to think that it would be better for the baby if I disappeared from her life, that it would confuse her less."
Meanwhile, Bellamy is spending a month in his hometown Cardiff. What next? "I need a break. I need to spend time with my family. I can't see life without soccer, but family is the most important thing. I'm not putting a time on a return. I miss the field and soccer, but I made the right decision."
"The intention is to see Orla every day. Now it's already twice a week. I feel happy again. If I put my arms out, she comes."
Source: © Internal source