Sugar Ray Leonard and PTSD?

August 12, 2011

From time to time I read something that doesn’t start out being about PTSD and then as I continue reading I see that it might be.  Certainly this is one of these things.  I was reading the Arts & Entertainment section of the Orange County Register yesterday and there was an article by Peter Larsen with the Headline “Boxing legend goes a few rounds with life”.  It was an interview with Sugar Ray about his new book on sale called, “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring”.  I have always liked Sugar Ray but I have not read the book only this article.

Apparently he had started writing the book during his fighting days but discontinued it and he says, he couldn’t have finished writing it all these years ago because he says, ” he was not ready to face the hard facts of his life…the secret he’d buried most deeply for more nearly four decades, the sexual abuse he experienced as a teen”.  This caught my eye because PTSD is not only experienced by military people but anyone who has experienced some severe trauma as I’ve stated in other blogs at this site.

Then another quote I thought that someone reading this could relate to.  They asked him, ” why now” and his response was “I think I got tired of feeling that pain from all the things I dealt with as a young man”.  He said he didn’t start out with the intention of telling all.  This is quite common in all of us.  We have our buffers and protection we’ve built up to protect ourselves and one of these is to sweep things under the rug and hope it goes away.   He said though, “Eventually he found himself sharing those darker days than he’s initially planned”.  I have advocated this to all of you PTSD sufferers just sit down and write.  It doesn’t matter what comes out, it is a start and the more you put into words the more will find its way to the surface.

He further goes on to say, “…it felt kind of good, not right away, but I was feeling lighter, the weight was feeling better and better.”   then “it’s bothered me for over 30 years and the only way I could put a Band-Aid on it was to drink and do drugs.”  Sound familiar?  You don’t have to hold on to this PTSD pain that is real.  You need to let it go and blogging about it is the starting point.

I’ve heard some say that whining about it is not manly.  I wouldn’t want to be the one telling Ray Leonard that.  He is a man for doing something to make himself feel better.  There is one final quote that I wanted to share, “Trust me it was not easy..(then I get) that guy who comes up and hugs me and sheds tears and tells me, ‘You know, I was one of those people’ And that (sharing his story) was something really, really powerful.”

There are thousands of PTSD sufferers out there.  Sharing your story will lighten your burden and bond you with others and give them permission to do the same.  We are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  Begin the healing.