Darren Waller

New York Giants #12

About Me:

My name is Darren Charles Waller. Born September 13, 1992 and have been a product of God’s grace ever since. I am a husband to my amazing wife Kelsey, a son to my parents, Dorian and Charlena, that are still married after 36 years and a brother to my older sister, Deanna. My sobriety date is August 12, 2017. I currently play football for the New York Giants and I am a musical artist and producer. My foundation, the Darren Waller Foundation, has been helping young people in the Las Vegas area overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol by giving them opportunities to attend treatment and sober living facilities. I love creating and listening to music, smoking cigars, hiking, reading, finding new restaurants, and meditating.

My Mental Health Journey:

My mental health has always been a struggle since as early as I can remember. My first memory of pain was consistently being told I wasn’t black enough because of the way I carried myself, dressed, talked, etc. From that moment on, I lived live searching for approval outside of myself. I wore masks in every room I went into and, though desperate for connection, I felt alienated and exiled. The only solution I found to quiet the story of “not good enough” on repeat in my head was taking painkillers, and later mixing them with alcohol, weed, Xanax, cocaine, or whatever I could get my hands on. No amount of success could fill that void. College scholarships, years in the league that I once dreamed to play in, relationships and friendships with great people, and my reputation were some of the things I willingly sabotaged through my addiction because I simply didn’t believe I was worthy of them. The beginning and maintenance of my sobriety journey brought about transformation in my mental health, but even after 5 years of meditation, therapy, psychedelic therapy, 12-step work, and spiritual growth, my mental health remains a daily challenge to balance from going to extremes. That is why I choose to use my voice to speak for those who suffer, because I know exactly what it’s like.

What Helps My Mental Health:

Prayer & meditation Music (making & listening) Exercising Breath work Journaling Affirmations & daily gratitude Connecting with friends Attempting new challenges Reading