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My ex-wife, Cindy, and I gave a television interview in 2008 to share our story—not about the glories of football, but about the pain of my mental health struggles and their effect on our marriage. It was uncomfortable to blow our spirits like that. Mental illness carried more of a stigma back then. It was hard to admit you needed help and even harder to get it.

She helped me through the hardest time of my life. Because our story was ultimately one of healing, forgiveness, and redemption, I knew that if we came forward, we could convince others that there is no shame in asking for help. I hoped we would help people who are struggling and maybe even save some lives.

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