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Retired Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham reflects: ‘Six years ago I was not a well person’

Six years ago I was not a well person. I had no self-esteem: my worth was measured entirely by external indicators like judges’ scores or the number of followers I had, or by the comments I got on my posts. I strove for perfection because I couldn’t handle criticism. If I got a single negative comment out of hundreds, I thought that was the only “honest” one. I was deeply insecure, unhappy, and overwhelmed. I was using drugs to mentally check-out, and I became completely dependent. I decided something had to change. With the support of my wonderful partner (Lachlan) and a couple of others, I went to rehab to get clean and sober, and to address the negative thought patterns that drove me to use. It was the best thing I have ever done in my entire life, kickstarting a continuing process of “home improvement”. I still do a little work on my mental health every day, including these gratitude lists that I write each morning. I figure out ways to do the work so that it doesn’t feel like a chore, like turning them into little works of art (which is therapeutic in itself!) Sobriety birthdays mean more to me than belly-button birthdays because of the work that goes in to achieving them, and most people in recovery don’t publicly celebrate them because of the stigma of addiction. Personally, I think seeing examples that recovery is possible gives hope to people who are struggling, which is why I’m sharing this. Plus, it’s still nice to get some positive reinforcement sometimes. Today I’m another year clean and sober – so validate me, bitchez! And have a drink for me #birthday #milestone #anniversary #mentalhealth #recovery #clean #sober #happy #healthy #selfesteem #gay #lgbt #pride #proud #grateful #gratitude #gratitudelist #gratitudejournal #cake

A post shared by Matt(hew) Mitcham (@matthewmitcham88) on

FILE UNDER: Recovery


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One Remark

  1. Congratulations. You got this dude. Here’s to another year. Best of luck.

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