What an unbelievable year for Major League baseball awards, having two winners that have overcome significant issues in order to achieve this tremendous honour. The 2010 National League MVP award goes to Joey Votto, who recently returned after taking over a year off due to anxiety and panic attacks. I have previously included the story of Josh Hamilton and his battle with drug and alcohol addiction. He was the winner of the 2010 American league MVP award.
Joey Votto’s situation is another example of the potentially devastating state that anxiety can create. It also reinforces that mental illness does not have a face, nor does it discriminate. Many people wouldn’t suspect a professional baseball player to suddenly be overwhelmed with anxiety attacks severe enough that he had to take time off in order to learn how to handle the attacks and seek help. Votto’s experience demonstrates how the environmental stress factors can lead to anxiety, dealing with his Father’s death added a lot of stress that led to the increased anxiety.
Having experienced countless panic attacks myself, I can relate to Votto’s situation. He makes a point of saying that baseball is the easy part now that the anxiety is under control. When you are able to conquer your challenge, living life and achieving successes in all facets of life truly become the easy part. It provides gratitude for many things that were previously taken for granted.