Former Iowa cornerback and Detroit Lions safety Amari Spievey was profiled by Hawkeye Nation. Spievey (pronounced “spuh-VAY”) recounts the hard road he encountered while playing professional football, the ensuing depression brought on by repeated concussions and personal tragedy. Below is an excerpt.
By Rob Howe[Amari] Spievey was languishing with his depression. It caused unrest in his relationship with [his girlfriend Lisa Marie] Santos and in most aspects of his life. He sat around his house, captive to his thoughts, many of which carried him back to [Chauncey] Hardy’s death.
“Every time I thought about it, it was almost like peeling a scab off,” he said.
Nothing else occupied his time. The cycle was vicious.
“I wasn’t working. I wasn’t doing anything. That destroyed me because all you have are your thoughts. It keeps you in a bad place. The worst thing to do when you’re depressed is just stay home because it’s going to keep you in a prison in your mind and drive you crazy,” he said.
He finally pulled himself out of the rut. He started playing recreational basketball and attending social gatherings. He credited faith, family and friends for helping him. His 7-year-old daughter, Alaia Spievey, stood at the forefront of that.
“It took a while to laugh, to smile. She was born a year before (Hardy) died. She gave me a reason to live, to smile, to look forward to the next day,” he said.
Depression isn’t cured, it’s controlled. You manage. Some days are better than others. Spievey finally is enjoying more good than bad. That’s a victory.
Read the rest of the story on HawkeyeNation.com.