NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dwight Gooden is now an open book.
The former Mets pitcher left little to the imagination in “Doc: A Memoir,” his account of a life and promising career derailed by drug and alcohol abuse. He stopped by the WFAN studios Thursday to give listeners an idea of what to expect as they read about his journey from addiction to incarceration to recovery.
“You’re as sick as your secrets,” Gooden said on the “Boomer & Carton” show. “I had to come clean with everything, and so basically it was just strictly therapy for myself and hopefully (it will) help someone else.”
Gooden recalled hearing screams of an inmate being raped while he was in prison, calling it “the most devastating thing that I had to go through in my life.”
“Oh, definitely,” Gooden said when asked if that was the most frightened he’s ever been.
“No. 1, once you get into prison, you’re not Doc Gooden the baseball player,” he added. “You’re a number. That’s it. And you’re not living; you’re just in the system. So in there, if a guy wants to take you, he’s going to take you, because it’s going to be 10 guys. There’s nothing you can do. So me not actually witnessing the guy getting raped in there, but hearing him screaming and fighting for his life, you knew what was going on behind the door. You don’t know if you’re going to be next.”
Though he’s been clean since March 2011, the 48-year-old said it’s a constant battle to maintain his sobriety.
“I would say not every day, but those could be the days that you get in trouble,” he said. “Because when you think it’s not a battle, you let your guard down, and then the next thing you know, you’re back in that same mode or that same lifestyle, which leads to drugs and alcohol.”
Gooden’s “medication” for recovery includes chats with his sponsor, going to meetings and being in touch with members of his support group.
“If I do today what I did yesterday, the chances (of a relapse) are zero,” Gooden said. “But if I was to choose to take a day off from my recovery, it’s a 99.9 percent chance. I guess that’s the best way I can explain it.”
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