NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — CC Sabathia feels “at peace” now after admitting he had a drinking problem and spending 29 days in a treatment center, the Yankees pitcher wrote in an in-depth article for The Players’ Tribune, the website started by his former teammate, Derek Jeter.
“I’ve played in sold out stadiums. I’ve undergone numerous surgeries. And I’ve even pitched in the World Series,” Sabathia wrote.
“But nothing scared me more than saying these three words: ‘I need help.'”
The 2007 Cy Young winner left the Yankees for treatment ahead of their loss to Houston in the one-game American League wild-card playoff last October.
Sabathia wrote that he “accepted the reality” that he needed help after a late-season game last year in Baltimore was rained out and “I’d spent most of the weekend alone in my hotel room clearing out the minibar.”
“We had a game that day, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to help my teammates if they needed me,” he wrote. “I was struggling to function physically.”
He wrote that for years he never gave his drinking much thought. He said some nights he’d go out to dinner with his wife and be drinking his second bottle of wine while she was still on her first glass.
Sabathia also shed light on his time in rehab. He wrote that he thought “with clarity” about his family, particularly his dad, who died when Sabathia was 23 years old. His father, the pitcher wrote, struggled with drug addiction and hid it in a lot of the same ways he did.
“If I could go back, I wish I could have told myself not to be so scared of being judged for asking for help,” Sabathia wrote. “I wish I understood that this situation wasn’t like a pitch that felt off. I couldn’t just try to work it out on my own until it was fixed.”