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Champion MLB Pitcher Shares Struggles with Addiction

CC Sabathia was a six-time MLB All-Star and won the 2009 World Series, pitching for the New York Yankees. By outside standards, he spent those years living the dream. But inside, he was living a nightmare.

Sabathia opened up about his past in a recently published memoir entitled Till the End. He also spoke candidly with CBS This Morning about the personal struggles he endured during his career. Overwhelmed with grief from the loss of his dad and a cousin, Sabathia says he developed an addiction to alcohol during his playing years:

I would pitch, and then the next three days, I would drink. So, the day after, right after I came out of the game, I would need a drink and would drink the next three days, and I would take two days off, pitch and do it all over again. So, I kind of had a routine where I would normalize drinking for three days, like a bender, and would detox myself, be able to pitch — and do it all over again.

Apparently, his drinking became so common, he thought it was normal:

It was just part of my routine. So much so that when I went to rehab, I came out and I was thinking 'how am I going to do this without alcohol' because it had become so much a part of my routine that it was a part of my pitching.

Retired since 2019, Sabathia says he’s now been clean for six years, and is working to help others understand hidden dynamics around alcoholism and addiction in general:

I want everybody to be able to relate to it. And you can have all these things, all the money and all the stuff, but still struggle with mental health and be alcohol dependent. But you can get help. The toughest thing about dealing with alcohol dependency is reaching out and saying that you need help and that you can't fight this alone.

Possible Preaching Angle:

When we are honest with our struggles, we give others a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus for us, just as we can in turn do for them. Addiction has the potential to rob us of our potential, but when we help others embrace wholeness and recovery, we help bring that potential into reality.

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