Former NRL player, world boxing title holder and proud Wiradjuri First Nations man Joe Williams was always plagued by negative dialogue in his head, and the pressures of elite sport took their toll. Joe eventually turned to drugs and alcohol to silence the dialogue, before attempting to take his own life in 2012. In the aftermath, determined to rebuild , Joe took up professional boxing and got clean.
Defying the Enemy Within is both Joe's story and the steps he took to get well. Williams tells of his struggles with mental illness, later diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder, and the constant dialogue in his head telling him he worthless and should die. In addition to sharing his experiences, Joe shares his wellness plan - the ordinary steps that helped him achieve the extraordinary.
About the Author
Joe Williams is a proud Wiradjuri First Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra and raised in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Joe played in the National Rugby League (NRL) for many years before switching to professional boxing in 2009 and winning two welterweight championships despite suffering severe mental illness. Joe currently spends his time between Australia and the United States, travelling across both continents delivering workshops and talks to inspire people to think differently about their mental health.
'Joe Williams has been into the darkest forest and brought back a story to shine a light for us all. He's a leader for today and tomorrow.' - Stan Grant
'In telling his powerful story, Joe Williams is helping to dismantle the stigma associated with mental illness. His courage and resilience have inspired many, and this book will only add to the great work he's doing.' - Dr Timothy Sharp, The Happiness Institute
'It is through his struggles that Joe Williams has found direction and purpose. Now Joe gives himself to others who walk the path he has.' - Linda Burney MP