Alliance Profile – Jimmy Conrad
Played Professional Soccer for 13-Years in the MLS, 4x MLS Best XI, 2005 MLS Defender of the Year, Member of the 2006 US Men’s National Soccer Team at the FIFA World Cup, Star of his own YouTube Channel: The Jimmy Conrad
What past life experiences, physical traumas or genetics do you believe have had an effect on your mental health?
I love my parents with everything that I have but their decision to have me at age 18 and then to break up as a couple before I was born, definitely had an impact on my mental health and how I view the world. But, I don’t necessarily think of this mindset in a bad way. It helped me become an overachiever, as I looked to prove (and continue to prove to this day) that they made the right decision in keeping me instead of giving me up for adoption or aborting me, which given the circumstances would’ve made sense. With that being said, my obsession of “achieving” can have some negative undertones as well, because when things don’t go well, it can amplify the disappointment and how I feel not worthy as a person ,and definitely not worthy of anyone’s love.
How did the effects on your mental health appear in terms of symptoms?
Ultimately, I think it starts with pulling all the way back and looking at things from as big a picture as possible to see what I had control over and what I didn’t, but it takes awhile to get to this point! Before I had this moment of “big picture” self-awareness, a lot of my feelings were of anger and resentment and not really being able to explain how I was feeling. So, I tried to do what I always did, i.e. just work as hard as possible at whatever it was that I was currently doing.
When and why did you decide to ask for help to get relief?
I actually never asked for help. I suffered alone, thinking that was the way it had to be.
What methods helped you individually get/feel better?
Exercises, focusing on my nutrition and becoming a vegetarian, and losing my sense of entitlement.
Why did you decide to go public with your story? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
Because why not? I’m a perfectly imperfect human being that gets it right most of the time but also makes mistakes, too. So, I thought, as I’m growing my audience online, it’s important for them to know ALL sides of me, and not just the “happy-go-lucky” stuff that a lot of people try to manufacture through social media. Also, if my story can help one person get out of bed and go get after it in the morning, then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! That’s why #SameHere is so powerful. You can help others too.
How did people react when you went public with your story?
I’m not sure I have heard anyone say anything negative directly to me about my story but if they did, that’s their problem, not mine!