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Thursday, April 20, 2017

David Freese, World Series hero, finds greater triumph in depression battle

He may forever be a hero in these parts, but during a time he should have been basking in glory, he instead was a tormented man who battled just to get out of bed.

He would wake up mornings, slam his eye lids shut, wishing he were dead.

“I was depressed. I was always depressed,’’ Freese tells USA TODAY Sports. “I never tried to do anything to myself, but I didn’t care about my life. I didn’t care what would happen to me. It was almost to a point that if this is my time, so be it?

“And there was definitely a lack of care about my well-being at certain times, for sure.’’

Freese says he has battled depression his entire life, a factor in his decision to relinquish a college scholarship after high school to Missouri. He instead just wanted to be like any other student, giving him plenty of time for partying and alcohol. There were three public drunken-driving incidents, including a December 2009 arrest in which his blood alcohol content was measured at .23, nearly three times the legal limit.

Those episodes barely scratch the surface. There was the Thanksgiving Day afternoon in 2012 when he crashed his Range Rover into a tree. The countless mornings he awoke and had no recollection of even getting into bed. The blackouts. The constant feeling of lethargy and fatigue.

“I’ve had moments like that since high school, to be honest,’’ Freese says. “It’s been 15-plus years of, ‘I can’t believe I’m still here.’ ’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 05:41 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, david freese, depression, mental health, pirates

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 20, 2017 at 05:58 PM (#5439267)
Leaving the alcohol aside for now, I can't imagine being seriously depressive and surviving in a public, closely-measured field.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:12 PM (#5439275)
Good on him to talk about it publicly. More people doing that is an important step in making people accept and understand that it's not just a case of the blues.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:14 PM (#5439277)
Holy ####, I had no idea. Though people say the same thing about me and my depression when they find out about it, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise.

Keep on keepin' on, David. One day at a time.
   4. Franco American Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:23 PM (#5439285)

Holy ####, I had no idea

Male depression is still largely a big secret, 'cos we're taught from a formative age to keep any conflicted feelings to ourselves. The only way it comes out is as socially acceptable alcoholism and then the more unacceptable dwis, drug abuse, and violence towards self and others.

The people close to Aaron Hernandez all say there's no way he killed himself, but then, they don't believe he killed anybody else, either.
   5. Perry Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5439293)
Great story, thanks for posting.
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5439826)
Over the last few years I've made an effort to be very open about my mental illness, for a lot of the reasons that #4 cites -- I'm hoping that, by telling people what my brain is like, more people will be able to deal with their own brains.

And just admitting there's a problem doesn't make it go away. Though I'm currently medicated and seeing a shrink twice a week, the last few months have been a hard time for me. I struggle with winter, I struggle with getting overly invested in current events, I struggle with loneliness, and I struggle with purposelessness. I've hit the jackpot of all of those lately -- the coldest winter in Oregon's recent history, nightmarish political stories every day, checking out of my friendships and feeling like everybody I know and care about lives thousands of miles away, and two months ago I finished a huge project I'd been working on for five years.

It's a recipe for anhedonia and sadness, that's for sure. Lately I've spent so much time in bed that I've developed bursitis in my shoulders. And the worst part about it is that, though I know I shouldn't, I blame myself for it. I feel lazy and shitty all the time. The solutions seem very, very far away, and the fact that it isn't always like this is easy to know but hard to understand.

But I'm open about it, on Facebook, on my blog, with my friends. Because it was way worse when I just spent all my time wondering what was wrong with me and why I was such a crappy friend and so forth. And a lot of people I know have opened up about similar things, which has a way of making me feel a little bit less alone.

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