NFL long-snapper and Super Bowl XLVIII champion Clint Gresham, who played six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, gets honest about his lifelong struggle with anxiety, depression and addiction in a new White Chair film from I Am Second, a global storytelling movement.
Gresham has always been sensitive to emotions, a result of complications in his birth. Diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression and ADHD, he often experienced intense paralysis in social settings as a kid.
“I could have these massive swings back and forth of feeling ok with who I am and then at the same moment, absolutely hating the person in the mirror because I feel so intimidated by everything around me,” Gresham says in his I Am Second film.
Realizing the gratification of working hard and feeling strong, Gresham gravitated toward sports, because they made him feel like he mattered. He ended up playing college football for Texas Christian University before a successful career with the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2013, he and his Seattle Seahawks teammates won the Super Bowl, but though the win was his life pursuit, he still didn’t find it satisfying.
“The thing about trauma and anxiety and depression is that if they go unmanaged, it’s one of those things that will slowly creep back in,” Gresham explained, “And I found myself in this darker and darker and darker place of performance that felt so tedious and stressful.”
In the past, Gresham had dealt with his anxiety and depression by turning to alcohol and substances, but he sought something more sustaining. That’s when he turned to his faith.
“The thing about mental health stuff is it has nothing to do with internal strength,” said Gresham. “There is brain science that talks about the idea that functions more as a disease like cancer or diabetes.
“You would never tell somebody that has cancer, ‘If you were just a little stronger, then you wouldn’t be having this disease.’ But we kind of do that with people battling addiction or mental health problems,” continued Gresham.
In the I Am Second film, Gresham explains how he found freedom by becoming honest with God about his struggle and letting God walk with him through the pain.
To watch the full film, visit iamsecond.com.
About I Am Second
I Am Second is a non-profit launched in 2008 that ignites hope and inspires people to live for God and for others. Its website, iamsecond.com, features written and film-based stories of more than 100 athletes, actors, models, musicians, cultural influencers and everyday people who have stepped in front of the camera and declared, “I Am Second.” For information, visit iamsecond.com.