Zac Guildford was rushed to hospital after being involved in a motorbike accident while celebrating his birthday in Thailand.
The former All Black was riding pillion when he fell off the back of a Harley-Davidson in Phuket last week, badly grazing his bottom, injuring his back and skinning his hand.
Guildford, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, was on the way home from France after ending a club rugby contract there to return to New Zealand.
"I fell off the back of a Harley because I was trying to follow Google Maps with one hand and holding on to my friend with the other hand.
"He just took off a bit fast and I fell off the back and scrapped along the ground. There are a couple of good grazes on my bum. It was pretty sore but it'll be right in a week."
Guildford, who has been plagued by off-field problems with alcohol and depression, is now back in New Zealand and contemplating his future in rugby, teaching and mentoring in mental health.
The 11-cap All Blacks winger said he and his friend were on their way to a zoo when the accident happened and there was no alcohol involved.
He said his previous problems were what drove him to quit French club Nevers in January after signing with them in March last year.
"I moved to France because I thought I was ready to stand on my own two feet and earn some good money and play rugby but I realised I need to be around family," he said.
"There were no incidents like there had been in the past. Me and the club left on good terms and I wish them all the best and have good relationships with all the boys.
"It was just mentally, for me, I needed to come home. I didn't want to spiral out of control again. I've only been home five days and already my heart feels a lot fuller."
Speaking from his mother's birthday celebrations at Whangamatā, Guildford said he was yet to secure a contract but he would play club rugby for Fraser Tech in Hamilton and is scheduled to meet the Waikato Rugby Union to discuss playing for the side in the ITM Cup later in the year.
Guildford, who cut his holiday short because of the injuries, admitted he was "no angel" but was working on "being the best version of myself" and still held out hope of eventually signing with the Chiefs.
He's also going back to being a teacher aide, this time at private secondary school St Paul's Collegiate, where he starts next week.
Another reason Guildford returned home was because he broke up with long-term girlfriend, lawyer Huia Harding.
"But that's done now and I'm in a place now where I'm content with myself."
One of Guildford's biggest ambitions is to help other vulnerable people struggling with mental health.
Just before Guildford ended his contract in France, where he said the money was good but it didn't make him happy, he confided in comedian and mental health advocate Mike King.
"He messaged me and said 'You should stick it out' but at the end of the day I had to do what was best for me. He's always had my back."
Guildford plans to study toward working in the sector but said his experience is what helps him connect with people who have mental health issues.
"I know the struggle is real and it's always better coming from someone whose been down that track.
"How dangerous drinking, drugs, partying, girls, all that sort of stuff can be, rather than coming from a person who reads it out of text book.
"But of course I will have to upskill myself on that if I am to help other people and also continue to work on myself."
In November, Guildford opened up about the death of his father Robert just after winning the world under-20 rugby championship in Tokyo, and his struggles with addiction.