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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Time constraints make it hard for Darren Waller to stay calm – ProFootballTalk

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One of the best stories in recent years is written by Raiders tight end Darren Waller, who has struggled through addiction to become one of the best players in the NFL. He has lost time in recent weeks due to injury and COVID. On Wednesday, he explained that not playing has made it harder to stay calm.

“Because of my addiction disease, I can think of all kinds of crazy things,” Waller said via ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez. “So I have to make sure I’m talking about those things when I have free time. I have my therapist. Keep going here [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings. Stayed in the playbook. working on music. Just being solid, keeping my mind out of all that wasted time and just in the things I love. And stay in the game of football as long as you can.”

But since he was not in the game, potentially destructive thoughts tried to enter his brain.

“It’s hard, honestly, because I’m a human at the end of the day and I’m still trying to let go of my old thinking patterns,” Waller said. “So, when I’m not there [playing]All I can think of these thoughts are, ‘The team is bowling without me in there. Am I worthless?’ These irrational thoughts.

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“I had to be willing to persist in the practices that I have that bring me back down from that place – ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, it’s not there anymore.’ I’m not performing there, but I still have a role in this team. But sometimes my mind can say to me, ‘Ah, man, you really aren’t doing anything. You’re out.’

“So it’s just to stay closed. I have to do it because my mind can take me to those places. And I don’t want to be there anymore.”

It’s great that he’s willing to be so candid about his struggles. It helps other people who are experiencing similar things to realize that there is a constant challenge. Ups and downs, ups and downs. Tough days and tough days.

Waller’s willingness to talk about her tough days can help make days a little easier for those looking for any inspiration she can find to help her fight her battles.

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