Luke Humphries admits that revealing his anxiety has made him “stronger” for the challenges ahead. The World Youth Champion opened up just under a year ago about the anxiety problems that have hindered his progress.
Cool Hand Luke became the first-ever Challenger to win a Premier League match against Gary Anderson in Exeter last month. But he admits it’s been a struggle after getting more online abuse after becoming a World Champion.
Speaking exclusively to Phil Lanning for Colossos, Luke Humphries said: “Sometimes it’s hard to sit back and let people, in a way, abuse you online. It’s got very bad in the last five to 10 years the abuse online. Fortunately I’m very hard skinned so I didn’t let it affect me.”
“I just felt that I wasn’t the only 24-year-old World Youth Champion. Dimitri van den Bergh was 24 last year when he won it but he didn’t get any stick. So it was a bit unfair I thought. Apparently it’s my beard’s fault. But I’ve seen 17-year-old kids have better beards than me!”
“Seriously though, it was hard. I thought people would celebrate for me, especially because of what I had gone through over the past six to eight months. It was all real, I really did consider giving up the game.”
“I was really struggling and anyone who has been through it, will know it’s not easy to stand on a big huge stage in front of thousands of people when you’ve got anxiety. I was just hoping that people might have celebrated it a bit. Like ‘this is great he is World Youth Champion but he could have given up the sport eight months ago’. But unfortunately it didn’t end up like that.”
“People see the bad instead of the good in you. To read stuff can be the toughest thing about anxiety. Like Fallon for instance. People should celebrate her success. People just like to say nasty and negative things about players who do well.”
“I don’t see a lot of congratulations and stuff like that going on Twitter. There’s a lot of ‘why are you in this, why are you in that and you shouldn’t be in that’. But we wouldn’t be in it unless we were eligible, simple as that.”
“I do agree with what people say, 24-year-old isn’t probably classed as a youth. I see where they are coming from. The problem is if you are eligible to play in something which you can become a World Champion in, you are not going to turn it down.”
In May last year Luke Humphries bravely decided to reveal his demons. He admitted that he was having palpitations in his chest and it spooked him. But now does he regret being so honest?
He added: “Being truthfully honest I do think that opening up about the anxiety has made me stronger. In my opinion if I can fight through this, I can fight through anything. It’s really not been an easy time for me over the past 12 months.”
“I never thought at my age I’d have to go through something like this. But life can throw up anything, everyone knows that.”
“I’m just proud of myself the way I fought back and carried on because a lot of people might have given up. I nearly did but I’m very proud for battling back. It’s definitely made me a stronger human being in every aspect of life, not just darts.”
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