“We don’t know what we don’t know.”
NHL Vet Corey Perry released a statement that (kind of) cleared up his absence from the Blackhawks lineup. He was waived this week for conduct unbecoming of the team, and finally addressed the issue(s).
Booze and mental health issues led to SOMETHING we’re not aware of, and he’s seeking treatment for alcohol/mental health issues.
There you go, Hockey Twitter. As much as you wanted to crush the Bedard family because you love clicks more than being a bunch of dumb jock-sniffing dickheads, Corey Perry has a drinking problem.
🚨Rock bottom comes in many forms for men and women with Mental Health and subsequent alcohol issues. In many ways, this is the first day of Corey Perry’s new life. I commend his courage to be honest with himself. 🙏💪 Anyone can quit. Courage is asking for help. pic.twitter.com/9mQ0EfSugP
— Dean Blundell🇨🇦 (@ItsDeanBlundell) November 30, 2023
Regardless of anyone’s armchair opinion, admitting you have mental health and substance issues to millions of people isn’t easy. Admitting it to yourself might be even more challenging.
Some admit to it to get out of trouble or jail.
Some admit to it because they’re trying to be accountable for the first time.
Some do it because they’re exhausted by the misery of their addiction and mental health issues and want to get better more than they want to live in the pain of their actions.
We can’t take Corey Perry’s inventory. There isn’t a hockey fan or sports fan who can stand in some purity circle claiming moral high ground when using the Corey Perrys of the world to make themselves feel tall. No one is exempt from bad things, and we all have secrets. Corey’s secret is his, and he’s paying the price for his decision-making and behaviors in front of the same hard-drinking/oxy-popping hockey community that idolized him (or hated him if you’re a Leaf fan:)
Was Corey forced to release that statement? Maybe.
Is there more to the story? Possibly.
None of that matters.
What matters is that a human being just admitted to serious trouble. Corey admitted to having mental health and significant drinking issues on paper, and regardless of how he got here, it takes courage to be accountable when you never had to be.
Whenever people talk about my sobriety, they congratulate me. I always say the same thing. “I don’t know if I deserve credit for being normal.” But when normal is so far away for anyone who starts a journey to wellness, it’s pure terror. People like us can’t take our coping mechanisms with us. That warm blanket of booze is no longer your best friend. You’re numbing agent disappears, and you’re forced to deal with life on life’s terms. It’s terrifying, daunting, and arduous.
Knowing you can’t drink when it’s been your only answer sucks. For alcoholics, booze is associated with celebrations, grief, relaxation, good times, bad times, and times in between. The hard truth is people like us don’t have the tools to deal with how hard life can be, and complicated lives are relative because no matter how much money you make or the cars you drive, we’re a collection of our personal and familial life experiences.
You haven’t lived Corey’s life, so you can’t judge him with the “what does he have to be miserable about – He’s rich” narrative.
Corey Perry can judge himself. He just did it publicly. While asking for help. And that’s courage that some of you will never understand, and I hope you never do.
Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.