Greg Halford has described his time as a free agent as “horrible”.
The 34-year-old has signed for Aberdeen until the end of the season as the Dons continue to battle a defensive injury crisis.
Right-back Shay Logan is out long term after an ankle surgery, while Watford loanee Tommie Hoban’s season was ended by cruciate ligament damage.
Halford, who has played right-back, centre-back and virtually every other outfield position during his career, helped Cardiff City to Premier League promotion last term, making 16 appearances.
It was a first promotion for the journeyman – who has also turned out for Nottingham Forest, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Portsmouth and Brighton, but Halford left the Bluebirds when his contract ran out in the summer.
With close to 500 Football League appearances for more than 10 clubs over 15 years, Essex-born Halford has spent months training with various teams to keep himself fit and try to land a deal.
However, a combination of offers being not quite right and bad fortune saw him frustrated – until he finally found a fit in the Dons.
He said: “I did pre-season with Cardiff and then it was October I started training with West Brom.
“I trained almost every day (after that) until January 1, I think it was.
“Then I went down to Luton, I knew the manager there (Nathan Jones) – he was my coach at Brighton.
“He wanted to sign me, but unfortunately he left two days later to go to Stoke and then the club started messing me about a little bit.
“I decided to leave and went to up to Bolton for a couple of training sessions.
“So I was probably only not training for two weeks and still fit, not game fit, but I could get through training sessions and compete.
“Coming in (at Aberdeen) wasn’t a breeze, but it was easier because I’d been training.”
Halford was omitted from Cardiff’s retained list on June 13 last year, when most of his Championship-escaping team-mates were handed new deals.
He’d not started a game since the February 25 derby against Bristol City – which Cardiff won 1-0.
However, he did take part in pre-season training in South Wales as he began his search for a fresh start, with his last session in mid-July.
Before he returned to training with West Brom in October, there was a period – stretching months – where Halford thinks he must have been “unbearable” to live with.
He said: “I think my last start was Cardiff against Bristol in the derby.
“I’d been involved in a few games after that.
“It’s the second time in my career I’ve been a free agent, but I’ve never been out of the game as long as I have been.
“If you ask my girlfriend or any of my family, I was probably unbearable to live with.
“I ended up training with West Brom for four months, which was a blessing to be fair, probably more so for my girlfriend than anyone else.
“I managed to get a couple of under-23 games down there.
“But it’s been horrible.
“Not being able to kit up on a Saturday or getting those pre-game nerves – it’s been horrible.”
In the period between leaving Cardiff and training in the West Midlands, Halford says he had plenty of suitors, but he didn’t want to drop too far down the divisions.
Regardless, when asked if he ever considered retirement, he immediately answered: “No.”
Halford has remained in touch with his ex-colleagues at the Bluebirds this season.
They are battling immediate relegation from the top-flight, and Halford visited just before he signed on at Pittodrie.
He said: “I went down to see all the lads, I think, about a week before I signed here.
“I saw all the staff and that, and I stay in touch with the majority of the players still.
“I’ve been looking out for them and constantly speaking with them to see how the mood is and stuff like that.
“I made some great friends there, but unfortunately it came to an end at the end of the season.