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This is not easy for me to do.
But I need to do it.
I need to do it for my daughter. For my wife. For my whole family. For my teammates. And most of all for myself.
I’m Jordan Poyer, captain of the Buffalo Bills, and I am an alcoholic.
Damn, you know what? It honestly feels good to say that.
A big part of my sobriety is to lean into the truth. To be comfortable with who I am. And I’m actually surprised by how easy it’s been to open up to people. I had built it up into this big thing in my mind. Even when I got sober and went to my first AA meeting back in March, I was so nervous that someone was going to recognize me that I didn’t even open my mouth. I just sat there listening the whole time, on the low.
But I slowly started to realize that truth was a kind of freedom. When I saw some of my Bills teammates for the first time over the summer, they had no idea that I was four months sober.
I’ll never forget, we were chilling, just catching up and everything, and some of the guys were drinking, and I just came right out and told them the deal. I said, “Look, I know y’all have seen me drunk as hell before. But I want you to know that I have a problem. And I’m taking the steps to address it. I’m not drinking anymore. So I hope everybody’s cool with that. I’m trying to be a better me.”
And, man, I was so nervous to see how they’d react. I really thought they might bust out laughing, thinking I was messing with them — because they’ve seen me out at the club, getting lit-lit, you know what I’m saying?
But that wasn’t their reaction at all. Everybody just took it all in and immediately showed me 100% love and respect, no questions asked. I was blown away by their support and their brotherhood. Those guys helped me find the courage to tell my story, and to share it with you.
And make no mistake: I’m ready to help lead this team to a Super Bowl now. More ready than I’ve ever been. My body feels right. My mind feels right. I’m excited for the future — as a husband, as a father, and as a leader of this football team.
It wasn’t easy getting here ... but it was worth it.
The truth — the freedom — is always worth it.
This article was originally published on theplayertribune.com as My Rock Bottom.