While many know Chris Herren as an NBA star turned inspirational speaker, I know him only as my hero. My road to recovery all started one fateful night while I was scrolling on TikTok. Normally my FYP is a stream of random iPhone game videos with overlapped audios of Trump, Obama, and Biden playing Minecraft, but this night was different. I knew from the moment I heard that Bostonian accent and rising orchestral music that my life was about to change. Hearing about his life — his journey from Celtics player to struggling addict to esteemed high school assembly speaker hit me deep. Lowkey relatable as frick. That night, I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself. I knew I needed to pull my life together.
It all started last year when RayK bought the Nespresso machine for his head of school gift. What started off as an innocent cup of coffee soon turned into two cups of coffee, and within a month, addiction got me. Coffee at breakfast, lunch, dinner, on the sidelines. I lost all my money (door dashed iced macchiato lattes every day) and then all athletic abilities (decided to wait in the cappuccino line instead of going to an away game, got cut from jv2 squash). Caffeine addiction is no joke — definitely comparable to opioids. And pretty soon, it wasn’t just coffee. I mixed in some Red Bull, some pre-workout, and a couple non-alcoholic 4Lokos (pre-2010). After several months, there I was, ravaging the nutrition aisles of CVS for sold-out flavors of 5-Hour Energy and Celsius powder.
Herren’s speech flipped the switch in me. I had to ditch my addiction. My wallet couldn’t handle it, my body couldn’t handle it, the CVS inventory couldn’t handle it. It was time for a change. I had to go to in-patient Sykes for two weeks while I faced withdrawals. The nurses told me I couldn’t stay because my diagnosis “wasn’t real,” but when I showed them Herren’s TedTalk they broke down in tears and told me to be there as long as I needed. I am proud to say that I am a new person. And with a new season of JV sports around the corner and my recent purchase of Dogecoin (to the moon), I will return to my former glory!
Subscribe to The Phillipian Newsletter!
Read the week’s top stories from The Phillipian, curated for your inbox. Subscribe here!