Player addiction to sleeping pills is about ‘own’ Ryan Cresswell
Former English Football League defender Ryan Cresswell has warned of the danger of players becoming addicted to sleeping pills after it nearly cost him his life.
Cresswell, whose clubs included Rotherham, Southend and Northampton, achieved 12 months of sobriety earlier this summer after a second stint at the Sporting Chance rehab clinic and his life is now looking up.
He is back in football as manager of Sheffield FC, the oldest club in the world, and looks to his future with optimism.
It was a different story when his addiction started with painkillers to treat a chronic knee problem while he was in Northampton, then came sleeping pills, followed by alcohol and that’s when his world changed. is collapsed.
After entering rehab for the first time, there was a relapse and the 34-year-old was headed for a downward spiral.
And he thinks it was only an intervention of fate that saved him.
“Painkillers, sleeping pills and drink. I was far from my depth. I can’t believe I did what I did,” he told the PA news agency.
“When I first went to rehab I thought I had bottomed out, but I hadn’t even dipped in the pool.
“When I went there the second time, I was clinging to life. It was a matter of life and death. I didn’t want to die. Some people have passing thoughts about not wanting to being here, I was living in these thoughts.
“I had been in the depths of despair for a few months and this morning I had decided that enough was enough and I couldn’t take it anymore, I was like, ‘I hurt people around me, I “I am a father, I am a husband”.
“I thought I was either going to end it and know I was going to end it, or keep doing what I was doing until the end.
“I was completely gone, reality had arrived. I felt like I was going to jump in front of a train, that’s what I told myself I was going to do.
“Then the phone rang and it was like a higher power experience. The guy who called me was a train conductor and I was like, ‘Wow, how does he know?’
“For me, I had enough of everything, I knew what I was going to do, where I was going to do it, and he was a train conductor. I just thought something was happening to say “no” to me.
“I talked to him and went to get help and just kept myself clean until I went to rehab and stayed clean to this day.”
Cresswell knows how easy it can be to get addicted to sleeping pills and he’s pretty sure he’s not the only one in the game affected by it.
I was completely gone, reality had arrived. Felt like I was gonna jump in front of a train, that’s what I thought I was gonna do
“I think there is a big problem in football with sleeping pills and I mean from the top, as high as possible,” he said.
“For me it started with one after every game which was great and I think that’s a good reason to use them.
“But then it went from one after games to one a day to two a day and then I knew I was addicted to them. It wasn’t me who wanted it, it was my body, I knew it was the wrong thing. It’s horrible.
“There will now be 22 or 23 year old guys in the Premier League, Championship everywhere they take too many painkillers.
“It won’t be for three years that they will realize that they have a real problem. The sweats and tremors of the night will come and they will just have to get by.
After two stints in rehab, Cresswell pulled through, but knows he still has work to do.
“I didn’t decipher it, I can’t think I deciphered it,” said Cresswell, who still attends regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
“It’s an achievement that doesn’t need to be recognized because it’s the right thing to do. It’s not a feat, it’s something that had to be done.
“If I can talk about what happened to me and it prevents a single current player from going through what I did, that’s enough.”
He is certainly trying his second chance at life as he leads Sheffield FC.
It may only be the eighth level of the football pyramid, but the former centre-half looks up.
“You have to set yourself a realistic goal and a realistic goal for me now is to succeed with Sheffield FC,” he said.
“Whatever happens after that will take care of itself. If I said I wanted to manage in the Football League or the Premier League, the chances of that happening are pretty slim today.
“But if I’m successful at Sheffield, the next tier of clubs could come knocking.
“Of course, the plan is to succeed. I would love to be at a club full-time to pass on the experience I have gained, whether in football life or in personal life.
“I feel like I’m a better person, I feel like I have a goal. I would love to take Sheffield FC to the Football League.
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