Some years ago, I used to play football for the University Of Arizona. I was and still am a Wildcat. I don’t get to see much of my football family anymore but I still have love for my brothers. At one time, my football brothers helped me to keep myself together when I was having some of the worst times of my life. The ironic part about this is that most of them never knew how much they encouraged me to keep moving forward just by being a good friend to me.
-Excerpt start: Wounded Soul: The Book-
In 1993, the time came for me to go to football camp. I boarded a plane, and in a couple of hours, I was in a new place.
"Nobody knew me. I didn’t know anybody, so it was a perfect place for a new start."
I was around all of these famous football players, some of them nationally recognized, and now they were my teammates. It was time for me to put the past behind me and become the new person I needed to be. I just had one issue; it was me. The old me showed up to the new place. Most of the issues I had at home traveled with me. I couldn’t shake them. I did not realize that the wounds that were inside of me would not disappear with my change of venue; they followed me to the new place. That is when I started to realize that these issues were within me and that I could not run away from them, even though I sure tried to. I believe a lot of hurt people have become runners in life, not in a good way such as exercising but in a negative way by trying to escape problems by relocating to another place.
"When a wound is within, where will you run? Where can you hide? There is no dark alley in which you cannot be found; no cave where the light is not shining through; no dungeon that keeps you locked in; no depths that will not reveal you. No one can escape from the enemy within."
Its pain was unbearable, and its attacks were relentless when I was awake. It shouted at me as I tried to sleep and screamed at me to wake up. How do you escape the mind that resides within? How do you escape you without nullifying the pain? Was death the only answer? Suicidal, I never thought I was. I just no longer cared to live like I was living.
I would never tell the fellas about my issues because I didn’t want to be that guy. I didn’t want to seem mental. I wanted to be one of the fellas and fit in, one of the boys the fellas loved. The fellas were good to me. Most of them, if not all, were genuine. I loved them, and they loved me back. I thank God for good friends.
"Good friends have a way of keeping you going when you don’t feel like moving forward any longer. Good friends have a way of picking you up when it is difficult for you to walk."
My friends helped to keep me stable and alive. Many nights, I was just in my room reading the Bible. Only a couple of my buddies knew this, as it was not public information. Most times, I was reading and in tears because I just couldn’t find peace. I had made this huge life change, but I wasn’t changed at all, and it depressed me. If I couldn’t fix the issues within, how could I live my life like this? I kept reading the Bible and asking Jesus for help.
My dad and I were doing a lot better by this time, but I still had some resentment. We eventually worked most things out, and it took a lot of time for us to reconcile our relationship. I would talk to my parents a lot because I wasn’t doing all that well internally, but I couldn’t show it externally because I didn’t want to be perceived as weak. My solace came when I was on the field. Football and practice was my medication. Every time I took the field, all the thoughts and everything that came with them disappeared, and for those few hours a day, I was able to just play and have fun. Playing ball and being with the fellas was an outlet for me because that was the time I was most at peace.
-Excerpt end: Wounded Soul: The Book-
"As I look back on my time in Arizona with my friends, I thank God for each and every one of them."
They did not realize how much they helped me to gain a new outlook on my life. I used to try to be someone they could talk to when they had issues, and I was that for some of them. But the feeling of being needed and not worthless kept me going. Like I said, “Thank God for good friends,” but when I needed more from them, they became brothers. I know I don’t see or speak to them much at all outside of social media, but I still can picture most of them just like I saw them yesterday. Much love to all of my Arizona football family. God bless and Take Care,
Charles Myles #9 (Big Sugarbear)
BOOK: Wounded Soul: Death Lived Inside Me