Anybody who’s dealt with substance abuse will say the same thing: admitting the problem is the first step toward recovery.
At long last, it seems like Johnny Manziel is doing just that.
Few players received as much hype in college as Manziel did during his time as Texas A&M quarterback, and even fewer had a professional career crash and burn like his did.
Now, the former Browns quarterback says he knows he has problems and is working on getting better.
Manziel’s alcohol issues have been well-chronicled. But Monday on “Good Morning America,” he revealed a new issue — bipolar depression.
“I am taking medication for bipolar, and I am working to try to make sure I don’t fall back into any type of depression, because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me,” Manziel said. “At the end of the day, I can’t help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours. I can’t help my mental makeup or the way that I was created.”
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner made one bad decision after another after leaving college, and his sense of entitlement rubbed teammates the wrong way.
Going to therapy, Manziel said, has taught him that the world isn’t all about him.
“For a while, I got so ingrained, caring only about what Johnny wanted, only caring what mattered to me, what made me happy,” Manziel said. “When I look back at it now, even when I thought I was doing what I wanted, I was miserable.”
Cleveland took Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL craft, a decision the team is still trying to recover from.
Over two seasons, he appeared in a total of 15 games before being released.
Tomorrow's Pardon My Take is a BIG one. We have Johnny Manziel in an awesome interview. We get serious (Brazzers Music) and talk about all his mistakes and what it will take for him to get back playing Football.
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) February 12, 2018
“You are left staring at the ceiling by yourself, and in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself, super depressed, thinking about all the mistakes you made in your life,” Manziel said. “What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?”
Nearly all of the news surrounding Manziel came off the field, and none of it was good.
“I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression,” Manziel said. “When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone, that liquid courage, or that liquid…sense of euphoria that is over you, all gone.”
Manziel was back at A&M last week, taking in an Aggies basketball game and meeting with new football coach Jimbo Fisher.
— Tom Campbell (@thomasgcampbell) February 11, 2018
Manziel is only 25 years old. In theory, he could still become a productive NFL quarterback. He sat out a probationary season, which would allow him to play in the Canadian Football League, and Vince McMahon has reportedly targeted him as a centerpiece for his revamped XFL.
All Manziel knows is that he wants to play football gain.
“I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be,” he told ABC. “But I know I want to get back on a football field to what brought me so much joy in my life and it makes me happy doing as my job.”
It doesn’t seem impossible that someone will take a chance on “Johnny Football,” but whatever league it is, he’ll need to prove he’s not only a different player, but a changed man as well.
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