Terry Crews is opening up about how therapy has positively impacted his life.
Speaking with Amy Morin on the “Verywell Mind Podcast”, the former NFL player and current host of “America’s Got Talent” shared how he had to completely change his approach to life and turn to therapy after he found himself “at rock bottom” and with “no other choice.”
“For almost my first 40 years on Earth, [toughness] was a battle to get up the earliest, to work the longest, to do the most work,” Crews, 53, said of his mindset earlier in life. “And then I wore myself out.” After years spent pursuing excellence, he felt broken down by the “grind” mentality that’s so interwoven in the worlds of professional sports and entertainment.
“This grind will eat you up alive,” he added. “It’s literally a grinder. And if you have that mindset, it will totally take you out in a lot of ways and you’ll be over it before you think you’re started. But it can really, really eat you up.”
Crews continued, “I had to redefine what toughness was. Toughness used to be the ability to throw punches. But now in my revelation, it’s really the ability to take things, and to really endure the right way and to really just understand your weaknesses, understand your strengths and the wisdom to know the difference in a lot of ways.”
Part of redefining toughness for Crews also meant turning to therapy. Though he credits the practice as “life-saving”, he admits he struggled with his own preconceptions about what it means to seek out help from a therapist. “The obstacle was therapy itself,” he explained. “In my community and where I grew up, it was therapy [that] was seen as quackery. And actually doing something to really talk through your own issues, thinking about your own thinking was viewed as quackery.”
But when Crews found himself at his lowest point, a friend helped him discover a completely new perspective on therapy. “He said, ‘Terry I can’t promise you you’re going to get your wife and family back but you’ve got to get better for you,'” he recalled. “That was [a] watershed [moment] … because I did everything in my life for rewards. Everything in my life was based on, if I do this, I’m supposed to get this. If I did this, I’m supposed to get this trophy. I’m supposed to get this money. If I do this, I get sex. If I do this, I get fame.”
For Crews, gaining those rewards turned out to be a “hollow” victory. “I got the car. I got the house. I got the wife, I got this,” he said. “And then you point all these things out and intrinsically, you were hollow. And I was hollow. And finally, I was at rock bottom. My wife was gone. My family was gone. And I had no other choice. That whole phrase about you getting better for you meant therapy.”