After hitting rock bottom, one usually faces two options in life – either to crash against it and be ripped to pieces, or use the same as a solid foundation to regain control over life. While most take to the former way, very few muster the courage to pick up the pieces and put themselves back together in a reinvigorated fashion.
Addiction, coupled with emotional breakdowns that can lead to contemplations of suicide, is hard to reckon with. But the same may not hold true for those with steely determination or a fierce hunger to move ahead, instead of looking back. Going by the second description, American diver David Boudia, who won a Silver and a Bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics, can be called a man of steel. More than the feeling of winning for his country, Boudia’s medals signified a complete turnaround of his once promising career that had been shattered due to his drinking habit.
In his autobiography “Greater Than Gold,” Boudia describes his rise as anything but inevitable, while confessing about his dependence on cigarettes, attempts to smoke marijuana and alcohol addiction in the past.
Boudia, a gold medalist in the 2012 Olympics, said, “Whatever I could do to feed myself and to make myself feel that good pleasure, that’s what I would do.” The confessions by Boudia in his autobiography are in sharp contrast to the common understanding of athletes living in perfect picturesque lives. Boudia’s admission about his drinking problem and consequent bouts of depression reveal the dark nature of sports where athletes feel the urge to try new substances to escape the tremendous pressure they face in their daily lives.
Boudia shared his story of redemption from addictive habit which also helped him in combating manifestations of depressive behavior that he was diagnosed with. While stressing that his struggles with addiction and depression continue, Boudia emphasized, “People sense vulnerability, they attach themselves to you and feel more free to have a conversation, or more free to be open in talking about struggles. As a whole, we don’t like talking about struggles. We don’t like to feel weak.”
While weakness is only a state of the mind that helps unravel true strength of the mind when tackled against, Boudia’s struggle against addiction and depression reveals the darker side of athletes’ lives, usually hidden from the public eye.
Boudia’s acknowledgment about his dark past came days after fellow Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Anthony Ervin shared their stories of struggle against addiction and their apprehension to continue swimming in the initial stages of their lives.
While Boudia, Phelps and Erwin have found enough reasons to bring their lives back on track, there are millions of Americans still waiting in the queue, hoping to gain relief from their self-destructive addictive habit or symptoms of mental illnesses disabling to move ahead with their daily activities.
Bad phases in life are temporary as the good ones; the same being true for addictive habit. While it is not easy to shirk off the effects of addiction so easily, it is imperative that one seeks professional help to get rid of such habits.
If you or your loved one is in the grip of an addiction, the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help you find one of the best drug rehab centers. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online to know about various drug abuse treatment centers that would aid in freeing one from the shackles of addiction.
Read the other articles of the series “Athletes who revived their career in 2016 Olympics after battling addiction”: