Joe Barksdale has severe depression and considered suicide as recently as three months ago. The Chargers right tackle decided to share his story in hopes of helping others.
“If I could save another person, maybe that’s why the attempts [to harm myself] didn’t work,” Barksdale told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
Barksdale, 29, was physically, emotionally and sexually abused as a child, he told Woike, and he has fought his demons since. He calls his severe depression the “monkey” on his back and now takes medication and attends therapy to make it day by day.
He also has turned to music, learning to play the guitar and recently released his first album, “Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams.”
“Some days, you can talk yourself out of it. Some days, you can’t. Some days, it just feels impossible,” Barksdale said. “This is who I am. I am as depressed as I am black.”
In November, Barksdale cried in the training room after finding out he would miss the next game against Jacksonville after injuring his foot in a fight with a teammate. When he got home, Barksdale said he picked up a knife. His wife, Brionna, talked him out of killing himself.
“If I let myself get sad, like really sad, it can go really bad places — like I could not be here tomorrow,” Barksdale said.