Understanding Addiction: CC Sabathia

Yesterday (October 5, 2015), New York Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia released a statement that he would be leaving for the rest of the season to check himself in to a rehabilitation center for alcoholism. Below, we’ve pulled five powerful lines from Sabathia’s official statement that serve to both inspire and teach us about the nature of addiction and what it means to seek treatment.

“I want to take control of my disease.”

Addiction is not a choice. But in spite of this fact, we do have the choice to fight it, to take control of it in one way or another. We can arm and educate ourselves with the best tools and resources that we can to help us make the fight even stronger. You may have the disease of addiction, but addiction does not have to have you if you are willing to fight.

“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide.”

One of the most important parts of seeking help for addiction is making sure that one can maintain their sense of privacy. Vulnerability is not an easy virtue to maintain, but it’s also what makes us human. Admitting that we need help to the people that love and look up to us allows us to take the mask that addiction has placed over our faces and throw it to the ground.

“Being an adult means being accountable.”

We have to take accountability for the damage that our addiction has inflicted upon ourselves and the people we love. It’s never easy to stand up and admit to the hurt that we’ve caused. But when we begin to take ownership of the damage that’s been done, we also begin to accept responsibility for our actions, our choices and the storm we’ve created in the whirlwind of our addiction. Taking accountability exemplifies a sense of self-understanding and self-respect that comes as we grow. It’s looking back on what addiction has done to the narratives of our lives and saying “This disease has taken much from me, but I need to take responsibility of the decisions I’ve let it make for me.”

“I am not too big of a man to ask for help.”

There is no weakness in asking for help when you need it, and this, perhaps, is one of the most important things we can learn to understand. Being strong and brave doesn’t mean being bulletproof. True strength and bravery come from loving ourselves enough to know that a life shadowed by addiction is not a life that we want to live anymore. It’s understanding that the more we try to act like we can handle and control our addiction when we feel like we’re falling apart, the weaker we allow ourselves to become. Sometimes, in order to put up the best fight we possibly can, we need to help to make us the toughest that we can be.

“I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of.”

We all deserve to be proud of ourselves, every single day of our lives. Sometimes this pride comes from small everyday things, sometimes big life changes and grand things. Regardless of where we find this pride inside of ourselves, we need to nurture it and make sure that at the end of the day, we are happy with who we are and who we are becoming. But when we begin to wake up and find that this is no longer true, we need to make a change. We need to envision who we want to be, who we know we can be in spite of the face that addiction has painted on us, and take the steps towards becoming that person.

Your bravery inspires us, CC. We’re rooting for you on the road ahead!


  1. People need to be educated on addiction and how it works. Unless someone suffers from addiction, they have false views on how it works and how it affects the person who has it.

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