He went from someone who didn’t want to live to someone who loves every single day.
This golf coach says, “No matter how bad things seem, you were meant to win.”
“My earliest childhood memories are of constant fear,” says Wills Murray. As a skinny kid with crooked teeth, somewhat shy and reserved with social anxiety, he was an easy target for bullies, which made his issues even more difficult to handle. He never spoke to anyone about his feelings, thinking they were all his fault.
He started playing baseball at age 5, and his talent soon became clear. He also saw the joy it brought others when he played well. Baseball was the first place where he wasn't scared and didn't feel inferior. As an adult, he now understands that his self-worth shouldn’t have depended on other people. But then baseball was the key to happiness and making people like him. He had friends, his family was happy, and everything was great as long as baseball was going well.
“I tried to end my life.”
Although he was highly recruited to play college baseball, a knee injury ended his career during his senior year of high school. Believing his key to happiness had disappeared, Wills turned to alcohol, and he stayed in his room with no lights on for days at a time. Sometimes he slept for three days, sometimes 18 hours a day. When his grandfather passed away, and his best friend was sent to jail, he saw no hope of ever having a meaningful life. He reached the point of feeling that everyone would be better off, including himself, if he wasn't around anymore. “I tried to end my life,” he says, “with alcohol and prescription drugs.”
Rebuilding and Triumph
After getting professional help, he was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic attacks. He discovered that his feelings came from always expecting a crisis to occur, and he was preparing his body for some sort of emotional trauma. He learned to rationally look at his surroundings and himself, and he learned to control his reactions to negative emotions.
His process of rebuilding himself included taking up golf, deciding that being a golf coach would be his platform to reach people. Encouraged to go after his dream of being a PGA tour coach, he moved to Florida to learn from respected and admired coaches. They taught him many lessons to help him understand that his thinking about himself was the key to everything and how thinking creates feeling.
Golf is now his platform to tell his story. “No matter how bad things seem,” he reminds others, “you were meant to win. Take it from someone who once no longer wanted to live and who now loves every single day.”
When you make a donation to ADAA, you are helping those who suffer from GAD, panic, and other anxiety disorders and thoughts of suicide get treatment and find happier lives. Please give.
Wills Murray is a golf coach in Kissimmee, Florida.