"I have been battling depression since I was 14 years old and for the the longest time, I saw it as a sign of weakness. Part of it was toxic masculinity and the athlete in me, but the other part of it was that my life wasn’t that bad. I had a good family life, friends, and all the things that should make one happy, but I wasn’t. I felt like an imposter in my own feelings. The thing I had to realize, though, was that depression is not a some people thing, it’s an everyone thing. It doesn’t care if you are a good athlete or if you are “popular.”
And, what I learned from my struggles is that I needed to have healthy coping mechanisms; making music, writing, and baseball were my escape. My senior year of high school I partnered with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and put on a suicide prevention and mental health awareness benefit and we raised $1,500. Hearing people’s stories and sharing that night with them was life changing for me because it gave me so much perspective on my experience.
Again, during my freshman year of college, I was tested. I tore my hip labrum and retained a sports hernia, simultaneously a week before opening day of our season. This absolutely broke me because I was losing one of my escapes. Sitting in my dorm room all alone post-surgery, I was basically immobile, while my team traveled and played. That year was the lowest point I had ever been in my life. The turning point for me was therapy and music. As my body health returned, so did my mental health. Through these injuries, I’ve been able to see so much collateral beauty, and I’ve realized that I’m not alone - none of us are."