New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said he was "tired of hiding" when he decided to go public with his secret, three-year struggle with alcoholism that led him to leave his team last month before going to rehab.
"I can just, you know, start the healing process and take steps forward to get myself better," Sabathia said.
Sabathia, 35, was in Baltimore with his teammates for a series against the Orioles when he said his alcoholism reached a breaking point.
"It was the last day of the season," Sabathia said. "That weekend I had kind of started drinking...[I] thought nobody was paying attention and, you know, I was isolated by myself--stayed in my room the whole weekend. I think it was October the 4th, Sunday and [I] woke up and just felt like I needed help.
"...it was a tough decision to make because I felt like I was leaving my teammates, but I definitely needed the help to be a better, you know, husband, father, teammate... player," Sabathia added.
Days after the Yankees were swept in three games by Baltimore, Sabathia would announce he was leaving the team for the rest of the season.
But despite his early exit, the starting MLB pitcher said he's received nothing but positive reactions from his current and former teammates including Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and even some of his opponents.
"Torii Hunter, Dave--'Big Papi's' been calling me a lot," Sabathia said. "And, you know, I got to thank those guys. I'm truly blessed to be able to have friends like that."
Now that he's completed his stay in rehab, Sabathia said he looks to stay sober and 'lead by example.'
"I'm just here to say that this disease has no color," Sabathia said of alcoholism.
"I advise anybody, if they're out there, feeling like they need help, to get it," Sabathia said.