TW: This post and linked article contain graphic descriptions of a suicide attempt. If you are having thoughts of suicide or in emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Millions of kids who play little league baseball dream of someday playing professionally in the major leagues, But very few have the talent, drive and good fortune to make it. Drew Robinson was one of those lucky ones who was able to achieve that lofty goal. But inside he held the belief that he was too flawed to stay.
Despite his success and the promise of more, his self-doubts led him down a dark hole of despair so deep that he couldn’t crawl out. And on April 16, 2020 he placed a gun to the side of his head and pulled the trigger.
Somehow he survived.
When Drew woke up in a hospital operating room he was surrounded by a team of doctors trying to put his skull back together. Unfortunately, they had to remove his right eye in the process. That alone should have ensured that his baseball career was over. No one ever made it to the major leagues who was blind in one eye. The loss of depth perception would put him at too great a risk for injury. Imagine a baseball thrown toward you at more than 95 miles per hour from a mere 60 feet away and not having the ability to track exactly where it is in the 4 seconds it takes to reach you.
He dedicated himself to repairing his weakened body and regaining the skills that got him where he was before his depression overwhelmed him. Against all odds Drew Robinson did just that. His story, which sounds like a dramatic movie, actually turned out to be more like a miracle. His inner strength along with the support of his best friend Daiana and the love of his family eventually got him back to what baseball players call “The Show”.
Drew’s inspirational tale provides important messages to anyone living with a serious mental illness or loving someone who does. One is that along with the validation he felt from his family and friend as well as from playing baseball, he learned the importance of validating himself. He realizes now that life is worth living. In fact, that’s the main message he wants to spread as a mental health advocate.
You can also follow Drew’s trials and triumphs both on and off the field on Twitter at @Drewrobbb