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Ohio State football player shares brave message about his suicidal crisis

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL

Jamie Sabau | GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA | AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/13/22

The deeply personal tweet will hopefully inspire those in need, and encourage others to reach out and help them.

Ohio State University football player Harry Miller recently announced his retirement from the game due to mental health struggles.

In a lengthy and deeply honest tweet, the offensive lineman explained his decision:

“I would not usually share such information. However, because I have played football, I am no longer afforded the privilege of privacy, so I will share my story briefly before more articles continue to ask, ‘What is wrong with Harry Miller.’ That is a good question. It is a good enough question for me not to know the answer, though I have asked it often.”

Miller went on to explain how he’d actually reached out to his coach, Ryan Day, about his plans to die by suicide last year. Thankfully, Day put him in touch with medical professionals to try and help him.

The hidden scars

After a few weeks, I tried my luck at football once again, with scars on my wrists and throat. Maybe the scars were hard to see with my wrists taped up. Maybe it was hard to see the scars through the bright colors of the television. Maybe the scars were hard to hear through all the talk shows and interviews. They are hard to see, and they are easy to hide but they sure do hurt. There was a dead man on the television set, but nobody knew it.”

While explaining that his position as a public figure allowed him to highlight the issues for people suffering from an invisible illness, he wanted those who read his tweet to see the immediacy of the problem; an issue that so many suffer from in silence.

If somebody’s hurt can be taken seriously for once, it can be mine … A person like me, who supposedly has the entire world in front of them, can be fully prepared to give up the world entire. This is not an issue reserved for the far and away. It is in our homes. It is in our conversations. It is in the people we love.

Miller also spoke of how he was fearful of God’s reaction to his potential death by suicide:

I am not angry. I had to lose my anger because I did not know if God would forgive me if I went to him in anger. I did not know how the Host of Hosts would respond to my untimely arrival, and I did not want to tempt him.”

But he also spoke of how his experience taught him about love, and even how to love his bullies:

“I learned love, the type of love that can only be pieced together by the mechanism of brutal sadness. And so I will love more than I can be hated or laughed at, for I know the people sneering need most the love that I was looking for. The cost of apathy is life, but the price of life is as small as an act of kindness. I am a life preserved by the kindness that was offered to me by others when I could not produce kindness for myself.

A chance for a future

Had it not been for Day’s intervention, and the infrastructure put in place, Miller believes he would not be here today:

“If not for him and the staff, my words would not be a reflection. They would be evidence in a post-mortem.

Miller explains how he is using his experience to help others in the program at Ohio State, and hopes other athletic departments nationwide will be inspired by his story. And towards the end of the message Miller states:

God bless those who love. God bless those who weep. And God bless those who hurt and only know how to share their hurt by anger, for they are learning to love with me.”

His courageous tweet was not only inspiring and profound, but filled with the raw pain that he has suffered. Hopefully he will encourage others to view mental illness in a new light, and to seek to understand the pain of those who suffer.

He signs off with Dum Spiro Spero, “While I breathe, I hope.” And it is that notion of hope that we must all cling to in difficult times.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available for anyone suffering from emotional distress or suicidal thoughts.

Tags:
Mental HealthSports
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