Disgraced ex-NFL star reveals heartbreaking struggle
JOHNNY Manziel has spoken honestly on his rapid fall from grace that saw him go from a starting NFL quarterback to out of the league in two years.
Drafted with the No. 22 pick to the Cleveland Browns in 2014, the Heisman Trophy winner battled with off-field issues during his time in the league; with Cleveland eventually cutting the problematic Manziel in 2015.
And in an interview with ABC News, Manziel revealed all.
"I had a sense of entitlement about what I had accomplished at the age," Manziel explained.
"For a while I got so ingrained, caring only about what Johnny wanted, only caring what mattered to me, what made me happy.
"When I look back at it now, even when I thought I was doing what I wanted, I was miserable."
While Manziel hasn't played football in years, he did declare his interest in returning to the NFL, and discussed his longstanding battle with alcohol.
"I was self-medicating with alcohol. That's what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression," Manziel told ABC News.
"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.
"What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced?"
On top of that, Manziel discussed his mental health, admitting publicly for the first time that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
"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, because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me," he said.
"At the end of the day, I can't help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours," he said. "I can't help my mental makeup or the way that I was created."
While Manziel remains unsure of what a return to football would look like, he remains intent on rebuilding what was once a promising career.
"I am coming back from a huge downfall," said Manziel.
"I don't know what kind of comeback it will be, but I know I want to get back on a football field, to what brought me so much joy in my life."