‘You Can Get Through It’ – Danial Williams Talks Mental Health After Best Friend’s Tragic Death
“Mini T” Danial Williams lost his best friend to suicide last year, and that tragic event serves as a reminder for him to always seize the day.
Even as he prepares for the high-profile U.S. primetime battle on October 6, Williams gets a daily reminder to not take anything for granted.
The Thai-Australian explained:
“Every morning, I get reminded how short life can be. My very first friend, my best mate, took his own life last year. It was just such a shock because it was his engagement party the week before. It just showed how dark people can get, even though they look fine from the front.
“His dad, who was my first footy [soccer] coach, he’s a family friend. We’ve known him for years. He’s actually the lollipop man now. He helps the young kids cross the road to go to school, and every time I reverse the car out, I see him.
“It’s a good reminder to grab life by the balls and whatever dark moments you have, you can get through it. I try to remind myself of that every time I see Peter down the road every morning when I reverse out.”
The death of a loved one by suicide is never something those left behind can get over, but Williams thinks they can use the experience to become more aware of the warning signs.
Above all, “Mini T” believes empathy is essential because nobody knows what someone else might be hiding. Crucially, this could also push someone experiencing a mental health issue to speak up.
“The biggest thing [I learned] was that life is short, and you never know what people you brush shoulders with [might be going through]. So, show respect where you can to people.
“I think there’s a lot of people like my friend who lacked a lot of confidence. He didn’t want to be the burden. He couldn’t give me that call saying, ‘Man, I’m in a really dark place right now.’ That’s just the lack of self-worth.
“You’ve got to speak out. It’s easier said than done, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter your worst days.”
Danial Williams Offers His Take On Improving Mental Health
Danial Williams’ difficult experience has forced him to think deeply about how somebody might be able to deal with their mental health problems.
“Mini T” thinks the real key comes from building confidence in yourself by drilling down into your mind to figure out what motivates you. That, he believes, can bring clarity and self-assurance – even if it’s just enough to reach out for support.
“I think true confidence comes from understanding who you are and not distracting yourself all the time. Sitting with yourself, even when it’s a nature walk or whatever.
“When you gain that confidence, that’s when you can start knowing what you want, and then knowing that you can talk to people and build the courage to be able to ask for help.”
The upcoming ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title challenger also has some practical things he does to keep his own mental health in check that could potentially benefit others.
Reminding himself that there are things in life to be thankful for – even when times are tough – helps Williams fend off the negativity that can sometimes spiral out of control.
Explaining his daily routine, he said:
“Gratitude [is important]. Acknowledging there are actually the good parts in your life and reminding yourself.
“My practice now is I have my morning routine to get up and walk my dog with my partner. That’s the best thing, to be in nature. Then I come back and do my training, so I make sure I train in the morning, and then I’ll just sit in the sunlight and have my coffee and breakfast. It’s just a very simple morning routine I follow because it would just set me up for the day.
“My nighttime routine is a journal. Sometimes, you can be down about things, and you write it down, like, ‘Okay, what were the good things today? What are the good things that happened this week? What are the good things that are coming up?’ Then you start focusing on the good things, and it’s just a full mindset change.”