It’s been more than two years now since Johnny Manziel has played in the NFL. But at some point in the near future, he wants to make his way back into the league, and if he’s able to do it, it sounds like he’ll be a much different player than he was during his first go-round.
Manziel struggled with a series of issues both on and off the field during his two-year stint with the Browns back in 2014 and 2015. On Good Morning America on Monday, Manziel touched on those issues and said that, outside of dealing with a "sense of entitlement" that hindered his development as a player, he also faced depression post-football. Manziel said he used alcohol to self-medicate, which ultimately led to him developing a problem.
"I was self-medicating with alcohol," Manziel said. "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…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."
Manziel suggested he hit rock bottom when his mother approached him and "broke down" over all the negative headlines he was generating in 2015. "You don’t understand when people come up to us and say: 'What the hell is your son doing?'" Manziel’s mom Michelle said to him.
"I saw the trickle-down effects of what I was doing in my life," Manziel said, "that were meaningless and pointless and selfish."
Manziel told GMA he entered a rehabilitation center in California a short time after he spoke with his mom about the issues his behavior was causing. Since then, he said he’s quit drinking. He also revealed he was diagnosed with bipolar depression about a year ago, and he talked about taking medication to deal with it.
"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," Manziel said, "because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me. At the end of the day, I can’t help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours. I can’t help my mental makeup or the way that I was created."
While Manziel addressed his depression and his drinking at length, he would not speak with GMA about his domestic violence case involving his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. You can watch his full GMA interview above.