by Gabriella Pinto-Coelho
While it is always sad to hear that anyone is heading to rehab, publicly announcing your decision is also a demonstration of bravery and vulnerability. It is hard enough to realize that you need help, let alone sharing it with the public. That is exactly what CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees did on Monday, October 5th.
CC released the following statement:
"Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.
I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father, and player. I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.
As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.
Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids -- and others who may have become fans of mine over the years -- to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do. I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness."
Regardless of your opinion of the Yankees, CC’s statement regarding his addiction and entrance into rehab is admirable. His decision to go public certainly helps the movement to destign tize addiction and recovery. Even more encouraging is the fact that the Yankees organization has expressed their total support for Mr. Sabathia, applauding his courage and promising to offer “everything in [their] power” to help in his recovery.
As more people go public with their addictions, we can hope that the stigma surrounding this disease will begin to dissipate so that we can truly bring this conversation out in the open. Addictions often develop and fester behind closed doors, so lifting the veil off part of the problem bodes well for our societal attitudes towards the disease and the available treatments leading to lasting recovery.