As I patrolled the Internet this morning for information on areas of my current interest, I stumbled upon an article about an Olympic athlete. In early November of this year, it was announced: Olympic diver reveals meth addiction.
How did I miss this?!
A guy named Matthew Mitcham wrote a book about his struggles with meth addiction, revealing that although he dedicated himself enough to a sport to make it to the Olympics, that he could not handle unresolved feelings from childhood.
I feel for this guy. People reported disappointment in his performance in the Olympic games in London after his strong medal-earning performance in Beijing just four years before.
As he reports in his autobiography, depression and anxiety have been life-long battles for Matt. After winning a gold medal, I guess the stress of the training subsided and all of the old demons returned. He started using crystal meth and subsequently became addicted.
This case makes me increasingly curious about meth and meth addiction. I’ve tried a lot of drugs, but meth was one, along with heroin, that I just never let myself have the slightest interest in trying. There were definitely opportunities to experiment and now I feel for those people who had deeper-seeded mental health difficulties than I did that facilitated such a strong desire to escape from the real world that meth seemed like the best next step.
When my dad died, I wanted to not feel. I had the luxury of taking a break from work though, and I was far from training for an Olympic event. I try picturing what the pressure must be like to perform a physical act perfectly, as the Olympics demand. I cannot wrap my head around it, but to think that meth will help shows me just how dark Matt’s anxiety and depression was, and became.
I hope he can stay clean and check into a drug rehab center if needed. He is preparing for the next Olympic games and I will be rooting for him!
Blog Post By:Jared Friedman