Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Back in October, the day before the AL Wild Card Game, CC Sabathia made the very difficult, and very courageous decision to check himself into alcoholic rehab. It was, perhaps, the greatest thing I have ever witnessed him do.

I wrote about BYB's support of CC back then in BYB STANDS WITH SABATHIA. I recounted my personal experience, watching someone very close to me suffer from alcohol addiction, and ultimately lose his life because of it. I wrote about the characteristics of alcohol addiction, as well as the horrible withdrawal symptoms. It is a difficult journey to beat addiction of any form. So when I state that his choice to check into rehab for himself, his wife, and his children, is the greatest thing I have witnessed him do, I am not being disingenuous.

CC has been very public about his journey. That too takes courage.Very many people would rather shy away from their reality, choosing to ignore it publicly. But this, I have learned, usually leads to relapses. CC is acknowledging his problem, stating that he is trying to fight it, and making us aware that he is capable of falling down again. In a way, it is a plea to us, and those closest to him, to support him and fight to keep him steady.

In an effort to keep his transparency in this, he has published a piece in The Players' Tribune. It is powerful, and beautifully, painfully honest. In it, he discusses how he managed to get to the point that required his rehab.

"...Nothing scared me more than saying these three words: "I need help."

Well, it's not even the words, really. Words are easy to say, particularly when you don't believe them. I was fine saying that I needed help well before I actually believed it."

"I never actually wanted to stop drinking. And I didn't think I needed to. I thought I had everything under control. 

But last October, while sitting alone in a hotel room, I finally accepted the reality that I had been avoiding for so long. 

'I NEED help.'" 

He continues on to speak candidly about coming up in baseball. He speaks about the pressure he felt to have people like him... the pressure to fit in. Like many, he turned to alcohol to 'boost' his personality. To make him more likable by people. He also speaks about the timing of his choice.

"Honestly, it would have been easier in a lot of ways if I had waited - I would have drawn much less attention to myself. But if I didn't enter rehab right away, I knew I wouldn't go through with it. With addictions, it takes so much effort to convince yourself to do something to fix the problem, but it's very easy to talk yourself out of going through with it." 

This, I believe, is one of the most important things in his piece. Back in October, a very small pocket of fans felt the need to chastise him for the timing of his choice. Back then I wrote:

"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."

CC understood what those fans couldn't seem to wrap their minds around. Addressing an addiction is not something that could be or should be put on hold. Once an addict comes to the point where they are willing seeking help, asking them to wait until it is more 'convenient' is vile.

CC is doing incredibly well. He has taken steps to get back to being himself. But he still has such a long road. Addiction is an on-going battle. He is openly, and honestly stating that he is trying to fight. He acknowledges his problem and realizes he still has to push forward. And it's incredibly uplifting and encouraging to those who are suffering from addiction as well.

To CC, Amber, and everyone closest to them and their family, BYB STILL stands with you!

To anyone who in need of help, please, do not be afraid or ashamed. You are not alone in this. You can overcome this. I buried someone I loved dearly due to addiction. Please, please fight your demons! You are mightier than you think. Positive energy and love to you all.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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