In a series of videos for OWN, Johnson opens up about how he got through one of the most difficult chapters of his life and how he wishes he had someone there to tell him everything was going to be OK.
He recalls after being cut from the Canadian Football League, following him not being drafted to the NFL, that he moved back in with his parents to a small apartment back home in Florida and fell so deep into a depression all he could bring himself to do for a month was wash the walls.
He explains the feeling of depression so poignantly, saying, "You just feel like you're alone. You feel like it's only you. You're in your bubble," but goes on to conclude, "I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone. You're not the first to go through it; you're not going to be the last to go through it… I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], 'Hey, it's gonna be OK. It'll be OK.'"
And, with conviction so strong, he says, "Hold on to that fundamental quality of faith. Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good."
Then, with a change of heart and help from his pro-wrestler father, he was able to find new purpose and says, "It wound up being one of the greatest chapters in my life."
With high-profile celebrities continually speaking publicly about their battles with mental illness, depression and other once-taboo topics, there is the ever-present hope that it will help those who are struggling in silence to step out and realize that help and hope is out there. Hopefully, those folks will realize that if you just hang on to your faith, there is something good on the other side of your pain.
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