Imagine making the biggest mistake of your life – and then getting caught.
There is the difficult process of explaining things to your partner or spouse, and often even worse, your parents. There might also be tough conversations with extended family and friends, and then sometimes your boss, your employer and even your colleagues.
But then imagine having to make that same confession to the whole country.
That was the situation that Warriors fullback Reece Walsh faced on Sunday, after being arrested by Surfers Paradise police, then subsequently caught in possession of a small bag of cocaine.
Incidents of this type have occurred before with professional sportspeople in this part of the world – and much, much worse – especially when it comes to NRL and Super Rugby players.
But they are normally accompanied by a cloud of silence, maybe a short statement from the club or franchise, and nothing more.
It's hard to remember a mea culpa like this, especially just hours after the event, as Walsh did.
Following some social media footage early on Sunday morning, there were sketchy reports of an incident involving Walsh, with Queensland police later telling Australian newspapers that "a 19-year-old had been arrested for failing to comply with a move on direction".
At 12:14pm on Sunday, the Warriors issued a three-line release, confirming that Walsh has been arrested and the incident had been referred to the NRL integrity unit.
It also said that "while the matter is under investigation the club would not be making further comment until a later stage".
That was surely going to be the end of the matter, like numerous other off field dramas and misdemeanours over the years.
But a few hours later the club announced that CEO Cameron George and Walsh would "be available for a Zoom call media opportunity".
With seemingly every media outlet across New Zealand and Australia on the call, George briefly outlined the situation, before handing over to Walsh.
If his presence in front of the cameras was unexpected, so was what came next. Instead of the glib, highly scripted statement one might expect, that have usually been written by a lawyer or a communications professional, and are then read in a wooden, disengaged manner, Walsh spoke off the cuff and seemingly from the heart, staring at the screen.
"So last night I got myself into a bit of trouble," Walsh began. "And I just want to tell you the real story."
He then talked about getting arrested outside the nightclub and being taken back to the station, before the bombshell.
"Once I got back to the station I got searched and I was in possession of a small bag of cocaine which I had some of during the night," said Walsh.
Walsh then took full responsibility for his actions, admitted his strong remorse, apologised to all stakeholders, then appeared to break down, almost in tears.
After 60 seconds and 141 words he was finished.
George said that Walsh "wanted to put his hand up, own the situation" and that is honourable.
Whatever wrath and punishments are coming his way – and there will be plenty – he deserves some credit for his willingness to face the consequences in a fairly unprecedented way.
His actions on Saturday night are inexcusable, for so many reasons, but especially because of the chance the Warriors took on him this season, as well as his massive popularity with young sports fans on both sides of the Tasman.
But by taking responsibility, so publicly and promptly, Walsh has at least taken the first step towards the rehabilitation of his reputation, as well as his personal restoration.