Eddie Kingston Writes About His Journey To AEW, Continues To Open Up About His Mental Health

Eddie Kingston is set for arguably the biggest match of his career when he faces CM Punk at AEW Full Gear on Saturday.

Kingston has never been shy when it comes to bringing his real life into the world or wrestling, admitting his faults and struggles on screen and in interviews. Kingston has referenced his mental health on television, opponents have referenced his failures, Kingston has been himself.

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In an open letter on the Player's Tribune, Kingston continued to bring those struggles to light.

Kingston discussed his issues with alcohol and drinking too much, even becoming a bouncer so he could drink more. He kept drinking until a letter from Larry Sweeny:

I was sick. I hated myself. I would sit at home drinking whiskey, watching guys who I’d come up with in the indies wrestling on national TV in the big promotions, and I’d just sit and stew until I blew up. I’d punch holes in the walls. I’d smash bottles. I was a danger to myself and others. One week, I ended up going on a bender that was so bad that I just kind of disappeared. I was supposed to be doing shows and I just didn’t show up. I smashed my cell phone and no one could get ahold of me. People were scared that I was dead. I woke up one afternoon and there were just beer bottles smashed everywhere in my apartment. For some reason, I checked my mailbox, probably looking for a miracle check or something, and I had a letter. I’m like, “A letter? The last person that ever wrote me a letter was my grandma.”

I opened this letter, and it was from my friend Alex Whybrow, aka Larry Sweeney. Longtime indie wrestler, amazing dude. He wrote me a letter as a last resort. He said everyone was really worried about me and he begged me to reach out. And I’ll never forget, this one line at the end, it said….
“I feel like I’ve lost my best friend. Please call me.”

For some reason, that woke me up. I called Alex and I crawled up out of my hole. I just always felt like nobody ever cared about me. I felt like a failure, a loser, a bad friend. It’s something that’s been with me since I was a kid. If Alex hadn’t sent me that letter, I don’t think I would be here today. I probably would have drank myself to death. He saved my life.

And the saddest part about it is that those words that he said to me must have come from a very deep place within himself ... because he ended up taking his own life just a few years later. I think he knew the pain that I was going through. He knew that darkness.

And that’s why I’m telling this story, and I’m not pulling any punches, and all the old-school guys who don’t want to hear this stuff, and think that we shouldn’t talk about it, those guys can respectfully kiss my ass. If I wasn’t on Zoloft, if I wasn’t getting help for my mental health, if I was too afraid to talk about this stuff, I’d end up killing myself. Period. I’ve lost too many friends in this business to shut my mouth and bury all of these emotions with pills and booze.

Later in the letter, Kingston referenced Jon Moxley, who entered inpatient alcohol treatment last week. Kingston wrote about Moxley and his decision, "I’m so lucky to still have a friend like Mox. (And I’m so proud of him for showing real courage right now. I got you, brother. Keep your head up.)"

The last time fans watched Kingston on PPV, he failed to capture the TNT Championship against Miro.

The bout was praised by the majority of fans, which overwhelmed Eddie to the point of a panic attack.

I still have my struggles.

I still have a hard time accepting all this love and attention.

I still have to take my Zoloft.

I still have panic attacks.

As a matter of fact, I had one right after I fought Miro at the All Out PPV. My phone started blowing up with all these people telling me great job, just showing me love, and I just couldn’t handle it. I got overwhelmed. My chest got tight. The walls started closing in. I started to go numb. It felt like I was breathing through a straw. But I was able to calm myself down and slow my breathing, because I’d been strong enough to reach out and get professional help, and I know what to do now. I know how to live with my anxiety and depression. And I’m not afraid to talk about it. I don’t care what the old-school guys in the business have to say about it. It ain’t 1987 no more.

I know that I am not fixed. I am not perfect. I still have some really dark days, to be honest with you. But when I wake up in the morning, no matter how bad I feel, I know one thing for sure, and I’m damned proud of it….

I know that no matter how this all turns out from here, I can always look my nephew in the eye and tell him that his old, broken, beaten-up Uncle Eddie never quit.

And when he grows up a little more and he gets to the first grade and some punk kid tells him, “Your uncle’s not a wrestler. You’re lying,” he can whip out his phone and show him a video of his Uncle Eddie walking out through the curtain in front of 20,000 screaming fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens — right down the block from where he used to trade Japanese wrestling tapes and get into street fights and run from the cops.

My nephew can look that little punk dead in his eyes and say, “See?”

His uncle ain’t a New York Yankee.

He ain’t a doctor or a lawyer.

He ain’t a f*cking astronaut.

He’s a wrestler.

Fans can read the full letter from Kingston by clicking here.

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