Tuesday, October 6, 2015


The day before the AL Wild Card game, news of CC Sabathia checking himself into alcoholic rehab was released. CC made the very difficult choice to seek help for an incredibly dangerous addiction. BYB, like many fans, expressed their concern and support of him, and the entire Sabathia family. We understand that the journey ahead of him won't be easy. It is a test of strength and character to overcome this. It's draining, not just for him, but for Amber, the children, and anyone close to him. Most of us understand that addiction is a serious illness and it's not easily overcome. MOST of us. Apparently there is a small pocket of people that do nothing but hurl insults to people at their lowest. And it is to those people that I address this blog. I hope you're listening...

Before I continue, I want to make it clear that I do not have a background in medicine. I'm not a doctor of any kind. What I do have is personal experience and a whole lot of unhealed wounds. 

With that said, I think the issue is that many do not seem to understand the seriousness of addiction, particularly alcohol addiction. It seems to be a common theme amongst people believing that he could just stop drinking, and he could have waited until the off-season. Many have gone so far as to call him selfish. The opposite is actually true. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, Alcohol use Disorder (AUD) is "a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking." It is sometimes called alcoholism. It is an addiction.

There are several symptoms to AUD. Being unable to control your alcohol intake, strong cravings to drink alcohol, failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school or at home, continuing to drink despite it causing physical, social or interpersonal issues, and ultimately developing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms happen when you attempt to stop drinking after prolonged periods of heavy alcohol intake. Symptoms include sweating, rapid heartbeat, tremors, insomnia, nausea/vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety and occasional seizures. Heavy drinking weakens your immune system, leads to heart problems, digestive issues, and liver disease, among many other issues. Heavy drinking can leave you in a life-threatening coma, or death.

Again, this is not based on my medical knowledge. This can all be Googled, but most of it is from personal experience. In 2014, I buried my cousin who was unable to beat his addiction. He was only 37 years old. He was one of those who was left in a life-threatening coma and ultimately passed away from his addiction. I watched him spend years trying and failing to quit. He spent weeks doing really well, only to spiral again. I remember towards the end of his life, he'd frequently tell me that if he were able to beat his addiction, he would be happy. He was afraid of the withdrawal symptoms. He would have hallucinations, tremors, and serious anxiety. He was very much loved by his family and friends. He was surrounded by people who adored him... he truly brought happiness to everyone he met. His flaw was his addiction, and ultimately it was his undoing.

It is really easy to sit piously and cast judgement on people. Really easy, and extremely selfish. Some are concerned with what will happen to the Yankees, instead of thinking of what could happen to CC. Regardless of the outcome of the AL Wild Card game, the Yankees will still be there next season.

You will still be able to root for them. I do not know how far along CC is in his addiction, and I hope that it is still manageable, but none of us know for sure. None of us know how this is affecting his family. We simply do not know what is going on behind closed doors.

And you can wax poetically about how much he is being paid, and state with disgust that he is irresponsible for not waiting until the off-season, and doing it quietly. Keep sitting on your haphazard moral pedestal. Some things transcend baseball. A person's life and family is one of those things. If you believe that baseball is more important than his healthy, you need to check your priorities. It's absurd to believe that anyone should put their healthy and well-being on hold because you have some false sense of entitlement as a fan. Yes, we want to win the World Series. I'd love nothing more than to stand in the Canyon of Heroes among a sea of Yankees fans this year. But I hold no deluded notion that my want of a World Series win in the Bronx is more important that CC's need to be healthy.

Yes, I'm a little bit angry. I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the selfishness of a few fans. And yes, I do know that a great majority of us support CC, and understand that this is deeply personal and difficult for him and his family. The bottom line is this is a time when he needs support, not judgement. Alcoholism is a serious disease. It has ruined peoples lives and families. Being able to admit that he has a problem and seeking help should be commended not condemned.

Along that same thought, if you or anyone you know is dealing with alcoholism, or any form of addiction, please seek help. You can reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Or, visit any of the links below to find help.

Alcohol Abuse Hotline
Alcoholics Anonymous
Crisis Call Center
The Samaritans

Do not be afraid or ashamed to seek help. These are only a few links that can help. There are several more that be found in your area. Please, do not end up like my cousin.

The BYB family stands with Sabathia, and with everyone fighting this disease every single day. You can make it! Positive energy and love out to you all.


-Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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