Republic of Ireland forward Clare Shine has opened up on her struggles with alcoholism and her recovery. Shine recently released her autobiography ‘Scoring Goals in the Dark’ where she talks about how she turned to alcohol to help battle her mental health problems. She received her first international call-up for the U17 World Cup at the age of 13 and won her first senior cap at the age of 20. At the club level, she scored a hattrick against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup to lead the club to their fourth consecutive treble.

“I was brought up in Douglas in Cork and I grew up in such a sports community in Douglas, full of football and Gaelic games. When I went to the European finals when I was 15 and the World Cup, I think that experience gave me that drive to go on and try and achieve,” the Republic of Ireland forward Clare Shine said. “I think I started having panic attacks when I was 17 or 18, and it was something that I didn’t really know how to handle. I didn’t know anything about mental health. I didn’t know how to manage it, how to control it and it kind of overpowered me. And it just started to become very obvious to people, especially in the footballing world. Turning up to games and training under the influence is just not acceptable as a professional athlete. I think I was starting to get a bad reputation. I didn’t look after myself at all.”

“I was in the squad a number of months before [a game against the Netherlands, but lost my place]. I traveled over for it because it was a massive game, and I remember hiding the bottle of wine in my bag, trying to sneak a couple of sips here and there. For me, to realize I should have been on that pitch, not drinking a bottle of wine and watching them, I think that was kind of when I really realized that I did have a serious problem,” she added. “I was a compulsive liar through everything, really. In October 2018, I tried to commit suicide in Cork City. I can’t remember exactly the time it was, but I was under the influence, I had taken on a lot of drink, and I was taking drugs as well, and I’m not sure really what triggered it. I had been thinking about it for a number of months before that.”

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