Jonathan Trott has revealed he felt guilty for leaving the Ashes tour early with a stress-related illness, but believes he will be ready to return for England's opening match of the domestic summer in May.
Trott flew home from Australia after the first Test in Brisbane after he had become so ill that he was not eating or sleeping properly.
The 32-year-old consulted with team doctors before making a decision he admits had left him feeling worried he would be branded a "nutcase".
But even more uncomfortable for Trott was the sense that he had left his team-mates in the lurch, as he watched on from the comfort of his living room as they crashed to a 5-0 series whitewash.
"I'd experienced a lot of success with England and a lot of good times and not many bad times, and seeing the guys struggling out there was pretty tough in that I should have been there going through the tough times," he said in an interview to be aired on Sky Sports on Sunday night.
"That was the hardest thing for me - to be in contact with the guys and them thinking he's at home with the central heating on and watching it on TV.
"That was probably the toughest thing being at home while the other guys are getting a bit of a barrage in Australia and I'm what felt like a million miles away from it."
Trott revealed a sense of guilt had almost immediately kicked in once he flew out of Australia.
The right-hander was already halfway home, in Hong Kong, when the announcement was made that he had left the tour.
"It was really weird," Trott said.
"I woke up in Hong Kong and the news was about to break in Australia I'd left so it was really strange, and then the guys walked out at Adelaide [for the second Test] and things didn't go well and a feeling of guilt started kicking in."
Trott came under fire from Australia in the first Test, where he was twice dismissed cheaply by man-of-the-series Mitchell Johnson, while opener David Warner described him as "weak".
"I remember day two or day three - it was a bit of a blur," Trott said.
"I was getting headaches and all sorts of things and I wasn't eating properly towards the end and that's when the sleep started getting disruptive and emotionally that was probably when I was worst and it just boiled over.
"I had nothing left in the tank or the battery - mentally and emotionally pretty drained.
"In Brisbane I spoke to the doc and on one of the last nights I was there he said, 'You know if I was in the situation and I was a GP I'd sign you off for three weeks from work and say come back and see me in three weeks'.
"But we're on an Ashes tour and you can't do that, so I didn't have anywhere to go really, so I made the decision along with everyone else that it was the best option."
When Trott returned home he was reluctant to leave his house, for fear of public opinion, but after a few months away believes burnout was the central reason for his problems.
"I was a little bit worried about going out in public because people look at you and I'd been all over the press and you don't know what people are thinking," he said.
"You know, they think, 'There goes that nutcase' or whatever and you're not quite sure what people's perceptions are because anybody would want to go on an Ashes tour and play in an Ashes and he's just walked away from that and it was tough.
"People come up to you and say, 'It's good to see you're out and about' and I'm like, 'I'm not crazy I was just burnt out'."
Trott's winter had left question marks over his England future, but he believes he is now ready to push for a place with the national team again.
Trott has targeted the opening game of the summer, a one-day international against Scotland on May 8, with a return to cricket with Warwickshire scheduled for April 1, when they play Gloucestershire in a two-day pre-season match.
He said: "I know there's a Scotland game at the beginning of May. That would be a good game to get back into the mix, back into the squad environment and then at the end of the month there's Sri Lanka.
"I don't want to be one of those cricketers who picks and chooses. I want to be available from the word go."