Across his 12-season NFL profession, former 49ers linebacker and Super Bowl XXIX champion Gary Plummer estimates he suffered lots of concussions.
The debilitating pain that came as an aspect effect of those accidents slowly sucked the joy from Plummer’s existence upon his retirement in 1998, and it wasn’t until he misplaced a friend from suicide over a decade later that the former soccer big name decided to take rate of his lifestyles and his melancholy.
‘For me, when I noticed that, hi there, there’s something wrong, is [the pain] wasn’t going away,’ Plummer told NBC Sports for the ‘Headstrong: Mental Health and Sports’ series. ‘So matters that had begun with a touch tap have become extra of a punch inside the back of the pinnacle. And those periods in between that were given shorter and shorter and shorter till, basically, it became 24 hours a day, seven days every week.
‘As time went on, I felt like now and again I just didn’t need to get out of bed and I didn’t know why nothing become bringing pleasure. Feeling like, ‘You recognize what? Nobody might care if I wasn’t around anymore.’ ‘
Plummer kept his feelings to himself, for the most part, however, his wife, Corey, observed day-by-day obligations have been turning into greater difficulty for her husband as he treated the pain.
‘I could just remind myself, I’ve had extra joy than a hundred people have the right to have,’ Plummer said. ‘So if there’s this headache, it’s simply the fee that you have to pay . You simply choke it down, and also you just don’t want to bitch.’
But Plummer turned into compelled to cope with his mental fitness struggles head-on while his friend and previous San Diego Chargers teammate, Junior Seau, took his personal life. It subsequently turned into discovered that Seau suffered from the neurodegenerative ailment referred to as CTE, which may be caused by repetitive hits to the top.
‘That’s probably the first time I began considering in my thoughts, ‘Well, do I actually have a problem?’ ‘ Plummer contemplated.
Plummer and Corey at once took motion, contacting a counselor and touring a neurologist to go through testing. Plummer turned into advised he had worrying mind injuries to the point in which it is able to be categorized as the early levels of dementia.
The analysis gave Plummer a starting point, and he started out making little changes to improve his first-class of life. Yoga helped ease his head pain, and that led him to meditation. He then found song therapy and additionally commenced using his outside garden as a manner to quiet his mind.
‘Each one of these matters has just made me this a lot higher, and the longer I did it, it made me this a good deal better,’ Plummer said. ‘Well, this a lot higher and this a lot higher and this a good deal higher, it all started out to add up.’
Just six months after his diagnosis, Plummer underwent testing with the NFL. The medical doctors had been astounded at his development and pleased to peer him doing so well.
‘To cross from considering taking your personal lifestyles to, six months later, feeling like, ‘I can’t agree with I ever had that notion,’ changed into pretty dramatic,’ Plummer said. ‘It’s just being given a 2d hazard at life, and not even just a second danger, a danger at having the most pleasure I’ve ever experienced.’
Plummer keeps thriving after having gone through a lot of pain, and he hopes he can inspire others to are trying to find assistance for their mental health problems once they need it.
‘If we will store one character’s life with the aid of looking this and know-how that it’s now not too past due. You is probably in the depths of despair, been there, completed that,’ Plummer stated. ‘There is a way out. I suppose that there was a humiliation about this, and now there’s information and that’s what we need.
‘Knowledge is prime to everyone living our great lifestyles.’