Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: Jason Adkins
You may remember Jason from pics from our visit to Cleveland w the @cavs. We were introduced by a mutual friend, @dererklanderson from the @nba & our Alliance, & after connecting, I could tell Jason was a great guy. He’s one of those ppl who is ultra-competitive & ultra-intense, but w a great heart, where he channels that intensity to help others.
Not many former pro basketball players/athletic dudes are comfortable opening up publicly about how heartbreak from the loss of a relationship w a woman he loved, affected his MH. But that’s what makes Jason special. He doesn’t care about the judgments of others. He shares bc he wants to help others, & that’s why he got his degree to be a psychotherapist, himself.
In this pic, he’s not only making the sign, but he’s also displaying our green #SameHere bracelets we’ve been giving out at events. The next step to spreading the movement’s message. Please help welcome Jason as he will be a great part of our team as we involve him, his advocacy, expertise, & passion in this movement!
“A broken heart is a big part of what affected my mental health. I was 20 & had recently broken-up with my girlfriend. We were together for an incredibly intense year & she let the relationship end by choosing to prioritize other people over me.
As committed as we were to each other, this was a gut punch. I was truly miserable. I had never felt that kind of emotional pain before & all kinds of negative & enraged feelings came over me for several months.
But I loved the game of basketball (still do & went on to play pro ball for 5 years), so I stayed in the gym even as I was facing this emotional pain.
6 months after the breakup, I was at the gym just hooping w my guys when I walked out to the water fountain for a drink. That was when I saw her…sitting there smiling at me. Just as I had begun to move on, the pain rushed back & it felt like the break-up was yesterday. I had completely cut contact w her (& this was before there was such a thing as social media) so seeing her cut like a knife. I didn’t say a word to her though…instead, I went back into the gym.
The next game I played in, I had 7 dunks. SEVEN DUNKS. Most games even the best players might get 2 or 3…& even that is a lot. I was dunking on everyone. I tried to tear the rim off the backboard. I was dunking forwards, backward, one hand, two hands, I even dunked on my own teammates. After the 7th dunk, the guys stopped the game & asked me if I was ok. It was clear that I had been in some sort of zone & took it out on the goal. I was dunking it super hard & was yelling & ultra-aggressive at the time. My arm had red rim marks all up & down it from the power of releasing my frustrations.
Looking back, basketball was the way I coped. I guess I was using the defense mechanism known as sublimation. This is when unacceptable impulses or behaviors are channeled into acceptable alternatives (such as playing the sport I loved -AGGRESSIVELY).
I don’t know if I ever saw her again. I was playing college ball & later turned pro. I did speak to her once via social media as adults many years later & it was a healthy conversation, but I did ask her previously unanswered questions I had & I wish her happiness now.
Having gone through this episode, it was easy to imagine for me how it could have gone very wrong if instead of running into her at the gym where I had an outlet to go right back to, we had been at a nightclub or the beach or if she was w another man. I later took a good look at myself & realized that I was outside of myself but was grateful that I had an appropriate outlet for some inappropriate feelings & thoughts.
I took a lot from those feelings & emotions of that experience & channeled them to where I am now a licensed psychotherapist, helping other people face their battles. I work to provide them w healthy outlets & tools to deal w painful & heart wrenching-emotions.
Telling my #SameHere🤙🏽Story here for the first time, I imagine many can relate to the heartbreak.”