Johnny Manziel’s journey from youngest Heisman Trophy winner to disgraced professional quarterback was highly publicized in the media.
Every drink, every outburst, and every arrest made headlines, and so did his multiple attempts to get sober.Johnny Manziel/Instagram
In August 2016, Independent Journal Review reported that Manziel’s father, Paul, told a newspaper that he believed his son wouldn’t see his 24th birthday if he didn’t get some type of help:
“I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday.”
Now 26, Manziel has allegedly sought help and received a diagnosis, which he claims he self-medicated with alcohol.
Manziel told “Good Morning America” that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression in 2017. He added that it was a conversation he had with his mom that led to him finally realize the effect his behavior was having on the people he loved the most:
“You don’t understand when people come up to us like, ‘What the hell is your son doing?’ And I didn’t really feel that until my mom said that, she just broke down, she was crying and I saw the trickle-down effects of what I was doing in my daily life that were meaningless and pointless and selfish.”
Manziel knows there’s no one else to blame for his behavior during the last five years but himself, which is why he took it upon himself to be properly medicated in order to deal with bipolar disorder.
“I am watching all the other guys doing what I want to be doing, and I am sitting on a couch being a loser. […]
I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression. When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone, that liquid courage, or that liquid … the sense of euphoria that is over you, is all gone. You are left staring at the ceiling by yourself, and in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself, super depressed, thinking about all the mistakes you made in your life. What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?”
Now, Manziel is focused on his comeback, with his “end goal” a second chance in the NFL.
He credits his parents and his fiancée, Bre Tiesi, for helping him stay on track over the last year. The former football player was also wearing a ring on his left ring finger during the interview.Johnny Manziel/Instagram
It’s unclear whether he and Bre are still engaged, or whether they’re now married.
As GMA reports, Manziel does have a Canadian Football League contract waiting for him, but it’s not confirmed that that is the route he is going to take.