One of the most decorated American athletes Michael Phelps has revealed that he suffered from an identity crisis which led him contemplating suicide, but the book Purpose Driven Life written by Saddleback Church pastor, Rick Warren, gave him hope.
According to ESPN, during 2014, Phelps struggled to figure out who he was outside the pool, which led him to heavy drinking and wondering whether his life was worth living.
“I thought the world would just be better off without me,” he said. “I figured that was the best thing to do — just end my life.”
The 31-year-old swimmer checked in to a psychological trauma and addiction treatment center in Arizona called The Meadows where he started reading the bestseller ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ which brought out a new ray of hope for him and uplifted his spirit to find his identity.
The young athlete was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs which led to his “downward spiral” and consequently brought him to his lowest point ever in life, he told NBC’s Today.
“I don’t know if it was, like, afraid of just letting go and showing who I am or what it was. And, and I finally was just, like, ‘You know what? Screw this. I’m not, I’m not hiding behind anything anymore. I am who I am. And, and you don’t like it, it’s really not my issue and it’s not my problem.”
Phelps was dubbed “Preacher Mike” for reading the same book to other fellow patients.
Appreciating Phelps, Warren posted a message on Facebook claiming he is excited that the swimmer will carry the US flag in the Olympic.
The American swimmer is all set to participate in the 2016 Rio Summer games.