James Hird has spoken publicly for the first time since overdosing on sleeping pills and says he was deep in clinical depression.
Hird spent five weeks in a mental health facility after being rushed to hospital on January 4.
The former Essendon coach copped much of the brunt of the club’s supplements saga and left the club in 2015.
"Everyone has a breaking point and I reached mine after years of continual stress," he said in his first column for the Herald Sun.
"I am not ashamed to say that I needed the care I received and, without it, I do not know where I would be. Depression is more than just sadness.
"My first call to beyondblue in 2015 was an admission I needed help but it took until January 4, 2017, when I took too many sleeping tablets, to truly accept that I could not dig myself out of this hole," he said.
"Certainly, it (his time in the facility) was no holiday camp but provided a supportive, welcoming, safe and caring environment and allowed me to receive the treatment I needed."
Hird paid tribute to his wife Tania for her continual support.
“Her unconditional, all-encompassing love, positivity, strength and ability to keep rising to the challenges that have been put in front of our family has been extraordinary," he said.
"Over the past four years, I have been short-tempered, distant, hard to live with, rude at times and ill.
"Tania, my children, my extended family and friends have loved, supported and cared for me when I didn't deserve their support.
"It is the unconditional love and care alongside the professional attention that has given me a second chance at life. I am an extremely lucky man."
Hird, who was suspended for 12 months following the supplements controversy, implored fans to get behind the Bombers in 2017.
"The Essendon theme for this year is about their comeback story. I can't wait to watch the comeback for many reasons," he said.
"But mostly to see the smile on the Essendon supporters' faces ... bring on 2017 and the year of the comeback."
Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact the Depression Helpline (from 8am to midnight) on 0800 111 757.