In January 2018, Michael Phels confessed to the world that despite his achievements, he was suffering from a deep depression that had left him on the brink of suicide. At that time, he explained in several interviews that that dark stage of his life had been overcome, but then, in May 2020, he recognized that this was a lie.
According to a letter he wrote for the site ESPN, the swimmer went through a bad emotional moment due to the quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since many establishments where he could train were closed to avoid contagion, he had lost places where he could exploit all the emotions that he used to improve his performance before.
This week who referred to the matter was Nicole, wife of the former athlete. In dialogue with the site Today, the woman gave some details about the bad time her husband is going through and clarified that depression is something constant in his life although he has downturns in which it is more exposed. It is there that she and her children do everything possible to help him and show him that he is not alone in this constant struggle.
“Guys want to be around Michael when he’s having a rough day. They want to try to make him happy especially Boomer because he’s the oldest. So we say, ‘Hey Booms, Dad is having a hard time and he just needs to take a moment to be alone.’ We want Boomer to understand that it’s not about him, it’s about Michael, “said Nicole, who revealed that her son is one of the pillars of the family:” He’s helping me with everything. It’s supportive for me, but more than anything, therapy provides me with the tools to be able to help Michael properly, ”she explained.
In the Olympic Games de Beijing 2008, Michael Phelps made history by hanging eight gold medals, something that no athlete had achieved until then. The former swimmer left behind Mark Spitz’s record in Munich 1972 and led his country to glory by adding gold medals in the 200 meter freestyle, 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter butterfly, 200 meter midley, 400 meter midley, 4 × 100 freestyle , 4 × 200 free, 4 × 100 midley, setting a new world record in almost all competitions, except for the 100-meter butterfly, in which he also broke the Olympic record.
After a successful life, said goodbye to the activity in Rio 2016Games in which he accumulated five golds and one silver, but his personal success has not exempted the American from this disease that afflicts him for a long time.
“I used to think that I could fix him, be his therapist, whatever he needs. But what I’ve learned is that you can’t take responsibility for how he feels, no matter how much you love him, “said Nicole, who admitted to being afraid of losing her husband:” After Vanessa lost Kobe (Bryant), everything I could do was look at Michael and say, ‘We can help you? Because if I lose you, I don’t know what I’m going to do ‘”.
In his public letter of 2020, the 35-year-old former swimmer was grateful that he did not have financial problems like many families in the world, because otherwise there would be another worry in his brain. But despite the fact that he is surrounded by his family and that he has overcome the worst moment of his conflicts, he was sincere: “Here’s the reality: I will never be cured. This will never go away. It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with, learn to deal with it, and make it a priority in my life. And yes, it is much easier said than done ”.
“There are times when I feel absolutely useless, where I completely shut off but I have this bubbling anger that is through the roof. If I’m honest, more than once I yelled out loud: ‘I wish it wasn’t me!’ Sometimes there is an overwhelming feeling that I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to be me anymore”, He explained about how he feels.
In that writing Phelps had recognized that his children are of great help because their hugs and smiles allow him to forget about his demons, as he himself defined them, and enjoy a while without anxiety or worries. However, both he and his family have had to get used to living with constant bouts of negativity.
The Heartbreaking Letter From Michael Phelps On His Fight Against Quarantined Depression: “I Will Never Be Cured, This Will Never Go Away”