Andrelton Simmons is opening up about his decision to sit out of the Los Angeles Angels' final week of the 2020 MLB season.
The 31-year-old shortstop, who recently signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, revealed in a new interview with the Orange County Register that depression and thoughts of suicide led to his decision back in September.
"It was tough for me mentally to where the thought of suicide crossed my mind," said Simmons. "It was something I vowed a long time ago I would never consider again. I was fortunate to talk to a therapist, which helped me let go of those thoughts."
"At the end when a lot of people were still going through what most would think of as tough times, the idea of finishing the season in a bubble was too much for me to handle," he added.
The Curaçaoan athlete shared his story with the Orange County Register in a series of Twitter DMs rather than verbally because "it is still difficult to articulate certain things or be open," he said.
Simmons played in 30 games during the abbreviated 2020 MLB season. In September, he announced that he was opting out of the Angels' five remaining games, just as the team was entering a bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simmons said that the world outside of baseball took a toll on his mental health.
"First time was driving through Oakland and seeing some of the shops and restaurants trying to stay open with all the homeless people camping outside," he explained in the interview. "That's when it really hit me."
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Simmons told the Orange County Register that despite his work with a therapist, his depression continued.
"I was really saddened by how much I was hearing about the death toll, and seeing how smaller businesses were going out of business and I was a little depressed at how the effects of all the new rules and fears were gonna affect people's livelihoods and how disconnected people were becoming," he explained.
Simmons went on to explain that he did not share his struggles with the public initially "because I don't like the idea of having to explain every detail of my life" and "I was afraid of people judging and people twisting my story."
However, he ultimately changed his mind once he realized that by being candid he can help others that are struggling just like he is.
"Some people might not like that I put this out there and some might bring their perspective and judgment to what is personal and good for my overall health," he said in the interview with the Orange County Register. "I'm okay sharing this with you because I know now that people's perspective and judgment has more to do with them than me."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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