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Coming Clean

from Colin White Wilson at The Players' Tribune,

I wasn’t fully honest with you.

When I shared my story here last year, I was holding something back.

I opened up about my OCD. My retirement from hockey. My successes and my failures. But I left something out. And I justified it in my head because I didn’t want it to dilute my message — or my goal to help people. I told myself it wouldn’t make sense, that it wasn’t necessary. But I was lying to myself. The truth is … man, the truth is simple: I was ashamed. Deeply ashamed. I held it close, scared of what people might think of me.

The truth is, I was an addict.

And when I saw the story in the The Boston Globe about Jimmy Hayes’ autopsy, everything that I’d suppressed about my own addiction came flooding into my mind. I’m two-and-a-half years sober — and in a way, I guess, I thought I had beat it. But you never beat it. You just live with it. And what happened to Jimmy … it could have happened to any of us. It could have happened to me.

I texted his dad and his wife, Kristen, the morning that article came out, and I let them know how powerful it was — how brave they were to share what they did. I’ve known Jimmy since I was 16, and he was a great, great person. Everyone cared about him so much. I can’t speak highly enough of the Hayes family. They are all great people.  And I know they want to help, just like I do. Because we’re in the middle of a massive opioid and mental health crisis. Those two things are inherently connected. And I believe the first step toward change is honesty and vulnerability.

I let myself down the last time I did this. I won’t do it again.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Having dealt with OCD 20 years ago, I know first hand how debilitating it can be. It was horrible to deal with.  I was lucky to have it treated with therapy and medication.  I since went on to continued success in my business and personal life.  Seek help not in a bottle or in street drugs, but from trained people who specialize in this.  This article was terrific.  I hope it leads more people to know that they can take control of their lives and be happy.

Posted by MABO on 10/25/21 at 11:08 AM ET


This is a really good piece.

Little by little people and institutions are opening up
re: mental illness and addiction. Less stigma and attendant secrecy
- and then worse manifestations of all the above; it’s a vicious circle.

Posted by lefty.30 on 10/25/21 at 02:20 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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