Former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya says he has contemplated suicide and has been going to rehabilitation to treat drug and alcohol dependency.
In an interview with Spanish-language network Univision, De La Hoya said he has been sober for three months after hitting rock bottom over the past two years.
"Rock bottom was recently,'' De La Hoya said, according to an English-language transcript.
"Within a couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it. I don't have the strength, I don't have the courage to take my own life but I was thinking about it.''
De La Hoya says he has been sober for three months after undergoing treatment and joining Alcoholics Anonymous.
He said he was unfaithful to his wife and that they temporarily separated.
"We are obviously not talking a Tiger Woods here, but I was unfaithful,'' De La Hoya said.
De La Hoya retired in 2009 after a 16-year career in which he won 10 world titles in six divisions and became boxing's most popular fighter.
De La Hoya was thoroughly beaten by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight. He won his last title in May 2006, beating Ricardo Mayorga in six rounds for the WBC light middleweight belt. He finished with a record of 39-6 and 30 knockouts.
Known as 'The Golden Boy', De La Hoya transcended his sport, using bilingual skills to generate crossover appeal among Latinos and whites.
He began boxing at age 5, following in the path of his grandfather and father. He won an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games, delivering on a promise to his late mother, Cecilia, who died of breast cancer two years earlier.
"There were drugs, my drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol. Cocaine was recent. The last 2 years, and I depended more in the alcohol than the cocaine,'' De La Hoya said.
"It took me to a place where I felt safe, it took me to a place where I felt as if nobody can say anything to me, it took me to a place where I just can reach out and grab my mom.''
That last paragraph doesn't make sense to me. How can he say that he hit rock bottom, and contemplated suicide, then carry on to say that his drug and alcohol abuse took him to a place where he felt safe and where he felt like he could be with his mum? If it was that great being on those substances then why was he contemplating suicide?
I. Don't. Get. It.
I have met people who have been addicted to alcohol and methamphetamine who had a great time while on it. I listen to stories that people tell of experiences that they had, or things they did and those stories sometimes make me laugh. I think to myself that i must have, at some stage, had my own good times while on that drug, or else i would not have become so addicted to it so quickly.
I can't remember any good times though. I certainly don't remember any times where i was happy or felt safe. The only things i can remember when i think about that time of my life are fear, incredible loneliness, despair, every single day being worse than the previous one, and every single person that i met being more dishonest and mean than the previous one. I remember constantly getting stolen off. I remember someone that i knew getting murdered. I remember having my own life threatened. I remember being paranoid. I remember the anxiety. I remember letting my children down. I remember hating the world and seeing no way out of the situation that i was in. I remember falling asleep at the wheel of my car on the motorway because i had not slept in 7 days. I remember carrying a hammer around with me as a weapon in case someone tried to hurt me. I remember the gun at a drug dealer's home. I remember the police cells.
I do not have one good, safe, or fun memory of that time of my life.
Good on Oscar for the effort that he is making in changing his life...but one has to wonder how successful he will be when he continues to consider the rock bottom time that he has hit as a good or safe time. Describing his experience like that, and that thought process does nothing to prevent other people from taking the same path, and it certainly won't help him in his recovery.
I am so blessed that i only had bad experiences. I didn't think i was blessed at the time, but i really was. God really does work in mysterious ways. We don't always understand the whys or hows until after the lesson is learnt. If i had good memories, these past 779 days might have been difficult.