It was at my lowest point I realised it was not okay to be thinking such dark thoughts.

My close family & friends kept asking me “are you okay?” Because I simply wasn’t myself.

Whenever I came home from training, all I wanted to do was sleep.

I did not want to socialise or be in the company of others, as I knew my demeanour wasn’t all that pleasant to be around.

I suppose the hardest part throughout it all was the need to play to public perception.

For fans and the wider community, playing sport at the highest possible level is a dream. It’s a privileged position very few have the chance to experience.

So you often ask yourself – what right do I have to complain? I get paid to travel the world for six months of the year, while getting paid to play sport.

I guess this is why it is so hard for athletes, like myself at the time, to speak out on mental health problems.

We are so blessed to be able to do what we are doing, and for me, not every budding Hockey junior is good enough to play for the green and gold.

Because of this privilege, you do everything you can to block out those dark impending thoughts, and simply move past the bad days when things aren’t as cheerful.

But when those days turned into weeks, I knew it was time to speak to someone and get help.

I had to do something about it. I had to convince myself I wasn’t just tired, sad or emotional; there was something wrong and that is why I needed to see a doctor.

I was blessed; I had access to a great medical team and support network who were there for me to comfort me through the recovery process.

I remember that year, 2015, I was forced to miss an international tour to Argentina. Instead, I was given the opportunity to give my body a rest and improve my mental health.

Georgie Parker, celebrates with her Hockeyroo teammates
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 10: Georgie Parker, Brooke Peris and Mariah Williams of Australia celebrate a goal during the Women’s Pool B Match between India and Australia on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Hockey Centre on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Hockeyroos couldn’t have been more supportive at the time; their only priority was my well-being and making sure I returned to the best version of myself. Physically and mentally.

I saw the warning signs, and was able to do something about it.

I’ve had too many friends commit suicide because they couldn’t or didn’t feel comfortable seeking help. That’s why I am passionate about speaking out on mental health.

I’m in a fortunate position where, because of my public profile, I can make a difference. If I can help someone else, who is in a similar position to the one I found myself in, I know talking to that person could save a life.

The messages of support and love I received from family and friends when I chose to seek help was enormous, and warming to know I made the right decision to speak out.

I’m proud to say that today I am in a much better place.

Those who follow me on Twitter know that the person who Tweets from @georgieparker is 100% me – I portray myself as normal as I can because I want them to be able to relate to me.

I want those who follow me to see I’m just a girl who loves a laugh & kicking the footy, in between completing studies as a public relations & journalism major.

Sure – I have my flaws, but I am embracing each and every one of them.

I know I’m not perfect, but I won’t ever pretend to be someone I’m not.

I’m no good at being anyone else.

Anyone seeking counselling or help with mental health issues can contact www.livin.org or call Lifeline on 13 11 14

Georgie Parker

Georgie Parker is an Australian olympian, who played field hockey player for the Hockeyroos.

Georgie won a gold medal winner at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and member of the team that went to the 2016 Summer Olympics.

She is not the two-time Gold Logie award-winning actress, although she is asked frequently.

Georgia is currently attempting history by making the switch to AFLW football with the Collingwood Magpies.