Ben Gordon’s life essentially spiraled out of control once his playing career ended, and the former NBA star has decided to share his story with the world.
Gordon wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune this week in which he opened up about his mental health issues, which he says have led him to the brink of suicide. Gordon described how he has always had an obsessive personality, and he was able to channel that at a young age to help him become a basketball star. After he was waived by the Golden State Warriors before the start of the 2015-16 season, things went downhill in a hurry.
Gordon said he thought about committing suicide every single day for about six weeks straight. He described how he suffered from insomnia and would go to the roof of his apartment building at 4 a.m. and think about jumping off.
“I was obsessed with killing myself. It’s all I researched, all I thought about,” Gordon wrote. “One night my panic attacks got so bad that all I could think about was escape. Man, I’m telling you … you become like an animal. It’s instinctive.”
In chilling detail, Gordon described how he tied a jump rope around his neck one night and hung himself. He said as he felt himself suffocating he thought for the first time, “You don’t really want to kill yourself … you just want to kill this anxiety.” Fortunately, Gordon freed himself before it was too late.
Gordon was arrested several times for his erratic behavior in 2017, and he credits getting arrested four times in five months with saving his life. A judge ordered Gordon to go to 18 months of court-mandated therapy, and he said talking about his issues helped.
“It helped me work some things out,” Gordon wrote. “But more than anything, I think it helped me embrace the fact that — it’s like, Yo, B, you’re different. And that’s alright. You don’t have to be perfect. Those habits that got you to the league? They don’t translate to real life.”
The entire piece is worth reading. It’s easy to poke fun at Gordon over some of the ways he has gotten himself into trouble, but the former No. 3 overall pick is obviously dealing with serious mental health issues. We hope he’s able to remain on the right path.
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