“Grief has been a big part of the last few years. I just struggled to breathe and it was a really challenging two years.
“But I wouldn’t change my life for anyone’s, because I think what the last two years have shown me is that I can get through anything, really.
“Footy is just such a small part of your life. There’s so many life lessons; it’s just what you do to get through them.
“I feel I’m better equipped and I can deal with things a lot better now because I’ve faced them.”
At the event, Beams said it had taken time to find the things that worked for him, and that he had been surprised at the role art had played.
“I’ve had a bit of time away from footy to obviously get my mental health in a better place and that’s obviously taken some time,” Beams said.
“I feel like I’m on the right sort of path now. It’s been an ongoing thing, trying to find the right therapist and the right things that work for you.
“I never thought I’d get into art, but I have and I love it. It’s great and awesome for my mental health.
“It’s given me a purpose outside football. I feel better for it.”
On Thursday morning, Pies coach Nathan Buckley told SEN that he hadn’t spoken to Beams for some time, although they had exchanged text messages “a few times”.
“We’re continuing to support him as much as we possibly can,” Buckley said.
“There’s a fair bit of speculation about football and where that fits, but for us, we just want to see all of our people – anyone that’s involved with the club – happy, healthy and with a purpose in their life and optimism about their future.
“We’re continuing to support Dayne to find that as much as we possibly can, and that’s where our focus is.”
The Age reported last month that Collingwood had no intention of entering discussions with the sidelined midfielder, with football-related discussions not a priority for club officials.
Collingwood’s position was reiterated at the time after Beams was involved in a car accident. He did not suffer any serious injuries in the crash.
Clubs made their final list lodgements in November, which means Beams is certain to remain on the Magpies’ list in 2020, but clubs can place a player on an inactive list if he is to be sidelined for a specific period of time.