Johnny Manziel wants to play football again, saying he is addressing the issues that have derailed his playing career and plagued his life, including bipolar disorder.
“I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression,” Manziel told Good Morning America in a segment that aired Monday.
He said he would wake up after a night of drinking and “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. What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?”
Manziel, who said he stopped drinking, was offered a contract to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL last month, but the sides have yet to come to terms. He hasn’t received any interest from the NFL after being released by the Cleveland Browns after two troubled seasons — on and off the field. Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy while at Texas A&M, was the 22nd overall selection in the 2014 draft by the Browns.
Manziel, 25, announced during the GMA interview that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago.
“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,” he 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.”
Manziel, who played 14 games for the Browns and completed 57 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions, and seven fumbles, had bigger problems off the field.
He was investigated by Dallas police in 2016 for domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend, but the charges were dropped when he agreed to undergo counseling.
Manziel entered a rehabilitation center in 2015 and was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Paul Manziel, Johnny’s father, told ESPN at the time: “He’s a druggie. It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie. I don’t know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn’t (sought) it yet. Hopefully, he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses. That’s about all you can say. I don’t know what else to say.”
Dealing with these issues will be a tall order for Manziel.
“I am coming back from a huge downfall,” Manziel said. “I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be, but I know I want to get back on a football field, to what brought me so much joy in my life.”
Displayed with permission from The Sports Xchange