If you thought ‘blue’ was merely the colour of his skivvy, there’s a lot more to know about your favourite Blue Wiggle.

By Madeline Hoskin | April 28, 2017

If you’ve ever seen The Wiggles – past or present – you would never guess that there was innate and invasive sadness behind any of their wiggly fingers and wide smiles.

But talk to the longest serving member of Australia’s biggest music export, Anthony Field, and he’s quick to remind you that things aren’t always what they seem.

The Blue Wiggle, 53, was recently interviewed on ABC’s Ahn’s Brush With Fame, where he shed light on some of the darkest times in his life, and the reasons why his mental health began to deteriorate.

He tried to hide his pain for EIGHT years

His time at St Joseph’s College boarding school in Sydney was when things started to shift in his head.

“I mean, boarding school – things happen there which I won’t go into, but they were too much for a young teenager to cope with by yourself,” he told Ahn. “You’re away from your parents and as years rolled on I just started feeling bad about myself.”

Like many teenage boys, he tried to shake off the fact that something was wrong, hiding his fragile mental state for eight years before admitting he needed professional help.

Indeed, he admits that back in the day when The Wiggles were actually an ’80s pub rock band named The Cockroaches, his mental health was so concerning that his dad started going on tour with them just to make sure he didn’t do anything drastic.

the original wiggles
The original members of The Wiggles were great friends to Anthony during some of his hardest years. Source: Kidspot

“You feel like you shouldn’t be on the earth”

Perhaps the most tangible thing to take from Anthony’s raw and honest conversation with Ahn, is the way he describes the feelings and thoughts he grappled with during his most depressed moments – most of which seem to stem from a deep sense of loneliness and not fitting in.

“You feel like you shouldn’t be on the earth, basically. You’re a waste of time … You’re in a crowd with people and you feel like you’re the only person who feels like that. (You think) they don’t understand me – no one gets to me.”

Beyond Blue research estimates that 45 percent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, and in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression – yet the idea that “no one gets me” is one so many people with depression struggle with.

You can just imagine how these feelings can become exacerbated when in a children’s group that is constantly in the public eye, however, Anthony says that no matter how bad his depression got, he stilled loved performing.

“It’s just when you come off stage you were back to being Jeez!’ … I’d be in the dressing rooms bloody bawling my eyes out by myself, after you’d just played to, you know, a couple of thousand people.”

Anthony says he has always felt happy when on stage. Source: Kidspot

A scary moment of clarity

At his lowest, Anthony admits thoughts of suicide were scarily appealing. He honestly believed that his friends and family would be happier if he wasn’t around.

“The scariest part is when you’re in that zone and you’re actually thinking about doing the worst thing possible you can do to yourself, you actually think that’s a release, and that it will be better,” he said.

He even went so far as to tell his psychologist – with a Wiggly heir of enthusiasm – that he’d found “the way out” of his problems. She firmly confirmed that dying was not the solution that he thought it was.

Fortunately, Anthony is in a good place these days – thanks to the support of medical professionals, and incredibly supportive friends and band mates, particularly Murray Cook (the former Red Wiggle).

He went on mood-stabilising drugs for three years, and now no longer needs them to be happy – and in 2013 he had enough clarity to write a book about his mental health battles.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact any of the below
Support Act Wellbeing Helpline 1800 959 500 – a free, 24/7 telephone counselling service for anyone in the music or arts industry
First Nations Dedicated Support Line – 1800 861 085
National Managers Support Line – 1800 818 728
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Headspace on 1800 650 890 for confidential support.

Support Act Wellbeing Helpline 1800 959 500 – a free, 24/7 telephone counselling service for anyone in the music or arts industry
First Nations Dedicated Support Line – 1800 861 085
National Managers Support Line – 1800 818 728

This article originally featured on Kidspot, access original page here