Category: Local News
Published: Monday, 04 July 2016 05:50
Written by Gino De Paoli
Clint Malarchuk may have been speaking at an Okotoks Oilers Fundraiser on June 24, but at the end of his presentation about struggling with mental health issues and how to better yourself while dealing with it, he was speaking to anyone affected by it.
The former NHL goaltender spoke on his ongoing recovery from mental health issues like OCD and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after he had his throat cut by a skate in 1989 where he almost bled to death on the ice and in the dressing room following the accident.
MALARCHUK DINNER 2016 (3)
(left to right) Brayden Jenkins, Nolan Thompson, Clint Malarchuk, Cooper Page & Carter Huber
Malarchuk dealt with alcoholism, anxiety and attempted to take his own life in the years after he played but got the help he needed to help battle the ongoing effects in his day to day life.
He says after speaking at numerous events to many different types of audiences, he still gets emotional telling his story and hopes those who may be struggling with mental health can have the courage to get the help they need.
“The most I get out of it is knowing that people are going to get help or share with somebody and get help or help somebody,” he says. “You open up a dialogue and it makes people feel safe to talk about their struggles.”
Highlights from his speech included that unforgettable March 22 game in Buffalo but also the x-ray where he attempted to take his own life by putting bullet that is still lodged in his skull to this day.
Malarchuk lives by numerous quotes and inspiration every day including Mark Twain's quote: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
He says hockey and speaking helped him achieve that and is now privileged to help others.
“I always thought purpose in life was hockey, but hockey basically gave me an avenue to be able to speak about the demons that were chasing me around all my life so I feel like my purpose really was to be speaking and helping people but hockey gives me that and obviously conquering some demons gives me something to talk about.”
One quote that Malarchuk emphasized on during the evening was “Do the next right thing” and says it's part of life and can easily help anyone overcome any struggles they're facing.
“Sometimes when you get into some failures which is part of being successful, but failures happen and you keep learning and correcting but don't beat yourself up, just do the next right thing. It's a simple statement and I just have to tell myself, even today, when I make a mistake or screw up I just do the next right thing and it's important.”
Malarchuk has spoke to numerous sports teams over the years since starting his tour which involved the publishing of his book “The Crazy Game” and has also spoke to first responders all over Canada to help battle with mental health.