Stephen Johns announces his retirement and admits that he is going through a dark period in his life

Published June 14, 2021 at 8:42

In most professions, the conclusion of your career is a cause for celebration. After years of hard labour, you finally get to retire and enjoy life, but for professional athletes, retirement might be a very different experience. Unfortunately, players who struggle to adjust to everyday life after their professional careers are not uncommon, and former NHL defenseman Stephen Johns admitted on Sunday that he was one of them.

In a social media message, the former Dallas Stars defenseman disclosed that he has been battling with mental health issues since being forced to retire from the NHL, opening up about his troubles and vowing to convert it into a positive moving ahead. Johns admitted that he has battled depression, even going so far as to say that it has destroyed his life, but that he is now determined to be an inspiration to others who are dealing with their own issues.

Here is his message in his own words:

''Someone asked me the other day what I like to do for fun and I didn't give him an answer, because I didn't have one. I'm writing this post because I'm tired of letting depression destroy my life. The realization that my career has come to an end has really fucked with my identity What I'll miss most about the game of hockey is providing inspiration. So, I've decided to rollerblade and road-trip across the country to hopefully help others facing their own battles. I'll be documenting along the way, to share my full story, because I know what it feels like to be alone. For me, I watched one video and it changed my life and made me want to do this crazy thing. If I can still inspire one person to climb out of their hole, then that's a successful trip and exactly what I'm aiming for. Peace & Love.''

Johns may be melancholy, but the reality is that he has a lot to be proud of, having reached the pinnacle of his profession as an NHL defenseman. He'll retire with 167 regular-season games and an additional 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games under his belt, something many hockey players can only dream of. I hope that his efforts to overcome the darkness in his life are fruitful, both for himself and for the people he will undoubtedly help along the path if this next chapter in his life yields fruit.
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