01/25/2023 Addressing Our Stuff Head On Is The Only Way We Heal

This slide came out of a convo a group of us were having the other nt about the football player, Antonio Brown.

Each wk @darrenrovell @theofleury14 & I bring a guest on to the podcast to discuss some current event topic, thru the lens of MH. This past wk we had on Dr. Steven C. Hayes – he’s the inventor of ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) one of the newer evidence-based practices being taught & used all over. Guy’s a brilliant man…& each of his words seem to come w deep wisdom. He’s worked w a # of pro sports teams/athletes, & to try to get to the bottom of the latest AB saga/chapter, we decided to bring him on. 

If you haven’t followed the latest, Antonio recently took to social & posted compromising personal pics & videos of the mother of his children – intimate/personal images none of us should be seeing. 

These actions are in a long line of others we’ve seen from AB over the yrs: from fights w teammates to throwing a brick at the driver of a moving van…from throwing his jersey off & leaving the field shirtless to exposing himself in a pool to a female nearby. And all throughout, AB’s maintained he doesn’t need help. His MH is fine.

As Darren aptly pointed out, w other stories in the pop-culture world, WE have to piece them together – a singer here, actor there, athlete here, musician there. In the case of AB it’s been the SAME guy, & yet every single time the media (& by proxy society on social) reacts as if this is some NEW train wreck we’re SHOCKED at. 

AB’s history comes w immense trauma. Grew up in a tough neighborhood. Saw young teammates murdered. Parents split at a young age. Estranged from his biological father at 8…then his step father & mother at 16. Applies to FIU & is told to not come back bc of an “on-campus” incident. 

No one’s excusing his behavior. But there’s a pattern here. And as Dr. Hayes put it: it’s often easier to avoid the pain of working on our “stuff” – EVEN when that avoidance leads to such behavior & even trouble…& even when it’s right in the public eye. 

Working on ourselves is not easy. But addressing our stuff head on is the only way we heal. Avoidance digs a deeper hole. 

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