In a Facebook post Grays Harbor Gulls co-founder and player Alex Barene has opened up about his personal struggles with mental health.
“I remember literally shaking with nerves at practice. Hiding from the ball. Sneaking into the bathroom to hide, to cry. Having coaches that ostracized me. Lacking confidence. Feeling unworthy. Getting sick before matches. Feeling sorry for myself and feeling guilty about it, starting a vicious circle that nearly led me to fall out of love with the game. What kept me going was support from my family & friends, and my passion for the game. It’s funny, the game I love so much brought me so much pain and still I could never walk away. So I became determined to fix myself. I developed mental skills that allowed me to cope with these issues. It was a long process, a process that I’m still in… This isn’t to say I’m 100% better, or that I don’t still struggle. It’s to say that there’s a way out. That through being vulnerable and accepting your own thoughts and feelings, you can conquer them. My struggle within the game is just part of my journey with mental health, but that’s the part I’ll share for now because I think it’s relatable.”