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Theo Fleury played for 4 NHL teams, with the Calgary Flames getting most of his time, won the Cup with them in ’89, brought home the Olympic Gold in 2002, and had an undying enthusiasm on the ice that he was known for, during every game! The 5’6”, recently retired hockey star played over 1000 NHL games between 1989 and 2003, scoring over 1000 points during his career, despite the personal issues he was battling that nearly destroyed him.
Theo’s recent release of his autobiography, Playing With Fire, in October of 2009, is an explicit re-telling and behind the scenes look at what went on beyond the ice in this athlete’s life. The shocking story exposes the web of deceit, abuse and sexual molestation that Theo was caught in and perpetrated by coach, Graham James. One of many Junior Players that were sexually abused by James, to endure the overwhelming effects of what he went through, Theo turned to drugs, alcohol and gambling as a way to cope and numb the pain.
It was not until he was suicidal, with a gun in his mouth, that Theo realized the only way out from somewhere so far down, was up, and decided to turn his life around. mindyourmind talks to Theo in this 5 part interview about what he went through, how he coped over the years and how he overcame a life of trauma that once seemed hopeless, to not only emerge on the other side, but to now help other victims reclaim their own also.
For info on how to get help for sexual abuse, go to 1 in 6.
Reach Out. Get Help. Give Help.
Part 1 The release of Theo's book, "Playing With Fire"; media backlash; the importance of support systems; eliminating stigma.
Part 2 Theo's service work; the importance of reaching out to get help; EMDR therapy to deal with Post Traumatic symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks; dealing with alcoholism and finding sobriety.
Part 3 Theo's suicide attempt and turning point; his relationship with his children; dealing with panic attacks; how his abuser manipulated the people in Theo's life.
Part 4 Reducing mental health stigma and the media's role in it.
Part 5 Theo talks about his current work and focus and what he's hoping to accomplish as he moves forward in his life.
Photos by mindyourmind
mindyourmind speaks with advocates, authors, musicians, athletes and other people about their own opinions and life experiences.