Johnny Manziel was living the life in 2012. He was named that year’s Heisman Trophy winner, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year among other honors.
Manziel shined as a prestigious collegiate quarterback with a bright future — that was if he could get his act off the field together.
Manziel is a classic fall from grace story. After being selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, Manziel lasted only one season in the NFL. The Browns cut Manziel in 2015 while he was under investigation for domestic assault against his former girlfriend. Those charges have since been dropped, according to multiple reports.
Manziel is now opening up about his downward spiral that included alcohol use, depression and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression,” Manziel told Good Morning America in a package that aired Monday. “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 … 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,” he continued. “What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?”
Manziel said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder one year ago. He has since then switched to a sober lifestyle and is working to better himself so he can play football again.
“I am taking medication for bipolar, and I am working to try to make sure I don’t fall back into any type of depression because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me,” Manziel said.
Manziel received an offer to play in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The two haven’t agreed to a contract yet.
Manziel said he’s hopeful for his future career in football.
“I am coming back from a huge downfall,” Manziel said. “I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be, but I know I want to get back on a football field, to what brought me so much joy in my life.”