The dark side of sports and the world, in general, isn't nearly as open and available to the public as the pure bliss and joy that comes along with success in the sports world.
While fans see players and teams celebrating victories, championships and more, there's often times that things aren't exactly what they seem on the surface. For former AHL and NHL goalie Corey Hirsch, that's exactly the situation.
Hirsch recently penned a story in The Players' Tribune, and it was more than just a bit eye-opening. In the story, he spoke about his battle with mental illness, and how it impacted him in such a drastic way.
The story began with Hirsch talking about nearly driving his car off a cliff, even after having success in sports and having his whole life in front of him. It's scary, but having some battles with mental health is something that we all need to realize is a very real thing, and that it takes a very big person to openly admit.
Hirsch choosing to document his struggle with mental illness is incredibly brave, and it's a shocking story. There's a lot to the story, but this one specific section of his piece breaks down how things were on the ice compared to off the ice for Hirsch.
But the crazy thing was, once I got on the ice, everything was fine. I was having an amazing year. I went 35-4-5 and was the AHL’s rookie of the year. But off the ice, I was a mess. I was so lonely. I would go home, and I would feel this horrible, unrelenting anxiety. Hanging over me. Hammering on me. I moved apartments five times that year to try to find peace.
Hirsch goes on to talk about his goalie mask, which sits in the Hockey Hall of Fame currently, but it has a deeper meaning to him than most people knew. It was based on the movie Psycho, and as he says, it was his "own little secret, and nobody would know but me."
The story was riveting from start to finish, and the most important thing is that Hirsch was able to get the answers and help he needed. With that said, this is just another case where often times, things aren't always amazing for professional athletes as it may seem to an outsider, but everyone is dealing with their own issues in some form or fashion.