Strawberry's story gives hope to struggling addicts

Sunday, October 1, 2017

For anyone struggling through the throes of addiction, recovery can seem impossible. Hope can be hard to find. Solutions can feel so far away.

It’s always important for the public to hear from addicts who have turned their lives around and remained clean.

Such is the case for former baseball star Darryl Strawberry.

Strawberry was a slugger with Hall of Fame potential. But the four-time World Series champ and eight-time all-star was enticed by drugs and a spiraling lifestyle.

Strawberry, now an ordained minister, gave three sermons at La Croix Church in Cape Girardeau last weekend. He talked about his personal struggles that predated his athletic career.

“I was already wounded before I put a uniform on. Everybody just saw me put the uniform on and saw me hit home runs and excel,” Strawberry said. “But I had nothing; I was empty inside. I used to run around the bases, and they would cheer for me, and I just remember thinking, ‘They don’t really know me.’”

Strawberry found healing through his faith he found in God, as well as through forgiveness of others, particularly his father.

“You see so many celebrities, just like me, losing their minds through drug addiction because they’re trying to escape from the reality of what’s wrong on the inside,” Strawberry said.

That’s really what addiction is about, regardless of fame. Drugs so often are an escape from what’s wrong inside. And whether you’re a professional athlete or someone far less known, Strawberry’s message serves as a reminder that people can change. There is hope. There is a way out.

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