It's tough to read and hear about the recent speed bump which came up in Josh Hamilton's life. It is no secret that the naturally gifted slugger has had his fair share of battles with substance abuse in the past, and continues to struggle to keep his life free of the addiction. Especially, when one considers how truly talented and gifted he is as a baseball player, the issue which continues to plague his life adds to the overall sorrow and sympathy from fans and others for Hamilton and his family.
Since the news that Hamilton suffered a relapse in his sobriety, one that is said to be very dangerous and a very big deal, many have reflected on Hamilton, his career, our society's outlook on those dealing with substance abuse, and how we treat, support, view, and deal with them. Some as close as his friends, are looking at the slugger's recent situation and calling for Hamilton to retire in order to save his life.
Forget baseball, his contract, his upcoming suspension, and anything related to his professional life. Those who are focusing in on this and attempting to dissect the Angels' decision to give him his current mega contract based on this is being ridiculous. Not the time.
However, oddly enough, in the midst of such an unfortunate case, I find myself with a growing appreciation of honor, respect, and overall integrity for Josh Hamilton. No, not because of his failures and struggles but because he was, and is still able, to acknowledge these short-comings, and even self-report himself to Major League Baseball and other authorities.
Hamilton lives in the public eye with his addiction, has been very open about it, has relapsed before, and continues to own it. No excuses, no lying. I stumbled. I fell. I need help. Please, help me get back. I want - need - to get better.
Call me crazy, there is something so damn respectable in that to me.
We all live our lives, and none of us are perfect. We all have our demons, our struggles, and our pitfalls. Some of us deal with addiction, whether we know it or want to admit it, it's there in our lives on a daily basis. Sometimes, taking that first step of acknowledgement is the toughest. Often, we're too embarrassed to do so. Or just fall to the challenges of the accountability if it becomes public.
Hamilton does this openly. Freely. Willingly. All to beat these demons for good one day.
Again, I very much dislike hearing of his relapse, but there is definitely something we can all take away from this story, and the current life of Josh Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton, thank you, sir. My prayers go out to you and your family. And of course, the very best wishes in recovery and getting yourself back to where you need to be as a person.
And of course, thank you for reminding us of human vulnerability and the beauty of transparency, and how it can help free ourselves, and others who struggle alike.