The Player I’ll Be Watching

When I watch the Rose Bowl on Monday (Penn State vs. USC), I’m going to keep my eye out for number 99 on Penn State. Joey Julius, a kicker, is a big guy, at 5’10” and 271 pounds. But it’s not just his size that makes him big. People who don’t evenΒ  follow football admire and look up to him.

During the spring and summer of 2016, he wasn’t at practice. Instead, the 21-year-oldΒ  was spending time at a treatment center improving his health. After he left, he told his Mom he wasn’t being true to himself. No one knew about his real fight.

In October, Joey decided to divulge his secret on Facebook. He has binge eating disorder, depression, and anxiety.

It’s hard to be vulnerable and admit you have a problem that you’ve hid for years, especially when in the public eye. But once it’s out in the open, it’s somehow easier to deal with. I know because I did that with my anxiety and panic attacks. When I talk about mental health and mental illness, I realize how many people it affects. I’m not alone.

“The Facebook post was very scary,” Joey said. “It took me a while to do it, but my path to recovery has to do with me being honest about who I am, and this is who I am.”

Good for him. Bravo, Joey. Because you spoke out, there are people reaching out for help. They know they aren’t alone.

joey-julius-quote

Happy New Year! I wish all of you a new year filled with health, love, and happiness.

***

First image courtesy of here

Quotes taken from here

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34 thoughts on “The Player I’ll Be Watching

  1. When a work colleague (who doesn’t know about my own personal history of binge eating disorder and depression) showed me this FB post awhile back, I was deeply humbled. Even though this colleague and I are co-chairing a panel on eating disorders at a medical conference in May, I haven’t told him anything about my personal history. I’d love to be in a place where I feel secure enough that I don’t worry about fully disclosing to all of my co-workers, but I’m not there yet. I still worry about the potential career repercussions.

    Liked by 1 person

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