Mohammed Shami has revealed he contemplated committing suicide multiple times when he endured a spate of personal issues a couple of years ago.
The Indian pacer, who was the leading ODI wicket-taker in 2019, claimed a series of professional and personal woes left him hopeless and searching for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel to continue living.
Shami's suicidal thoughts made family members fear for his safety as they were forced to keep a watch on him in case matters got out of hand.
"I think if my family had not supported me back then I would have lost my cricket. I thought of committing suicide three times during that period due to severe stress and personal problems," Shami told fellow teammate Rohit Sharma in an Instagram Live chat.
The troubling times meant cricket was the last thing on Shami's mind, proving to be an obstacle towards his playing career.
"I was not thinking about cricket at all. We were living on the 24th floor. My family was scared I might jump from the balcony. My brother supported me a lot.
"My 2-3 friends used to stay with me for 24 hours. My parents asked me to focus on cricket to recover from that phase and not think about anything else. I started training then and sweated it out a lot at an academy in Dehradun."
In addition to Shami's failure to recover his bowling rhythm, the 29-year-old faced issues of acrimonious relations with his estranged wife Hasin Jahan.
In March 2018, Jahan lodged a complaint with the police, accusing Shami of harassment and domestic violence. The same month, he survived a car accident that compounded his traumatic experiences.
The stress was burdened by the news of BCCI moving to briefly cancel Shami's central contract before he was welcomed back to the mainstream.
"Rehab was stressful as the same exercises are repeated every day. Then family problems started and I also suffered an accident. The accident happened 10-12 days ahead of the IPL and my personal problems were running high in the media," Shami said.
"Then my family explained that every problem has a solution no matter how big the problem. My brother supported me a lot."
Revisiting another dark period in life when he doubted his reentry in India's national team, Shami spoke about an injury that beset his career for 18 long months post-2015 World Cup.
"When I got injured in the 2015 World Cup, after that it took me 18 months to fully recover, that was the most painful moment in my life, it was a very stressful period."