Ashlyn Harris talks about depression, drugs, and finding her way out

Ashlyn Harris. (Instagram)

Ashlyn Harris. (Instagram)

I’m not sure how I missed this when it  came out, but I did.

Before Christmas, U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a video for Purpose2Play, a group that seeks to help athletes “motivate, inspire, and make the world a little brighter.”

In the video, Harris, 30, talks candidly about her dysfunctional upbringing; about seeking escape as a youth  in drugs, drinking, and other destructive behaviors; and about her struggles with depression and suicidal impulses.

Harris says she survived by getting out of her toxic environment and finding a nurturing one. She got involved with the U.S. soccer program as a 13-year-old, then went off to the University of North Carolina on a soccer scholarship. And she sought out the help of a therapist.

Now, she says, she tries to let others know that whatever they’re going through, they’re not the first to experience it. There is hope. There is help.

“The simplest thing,” she says, “is telling someone you’re here for them and that you love them and that they’re not a disappointment and they’re not alone…. Sometimes we’re so caught up in ourselves that we don’t even see that people struggle.

“I think we have to open our hearts a little bit more.”



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