Ryan Cresswell has opened up about his battle with alcoholism - and how he is looking to get his career back on track with Boston United
The former Northampton Town and Bury defender, who made his Pilgrims debut in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at York City, spoke candidly about his fight with Sky Sports’s Russell Taylor in an interview to be broadcast this afternoon.
“They classed it as a functioning alcoholic because I was drinking and I was training,” said the 31-year-old, who left National League Eastleigh earlier this season following a troubled time.
“So then I’d stop. I’d stop for two days and then it’d be ‘just have one’. Then that one would turn into another two days on it, with training in between.
“I’d go on my own to the pub and I would latch on to a couple of locals, and then they’d leave and I’d probably latch on to another couple.
“And I drank to the state where I could walk home, act normal but I’d blacked out.
“At the time I didn’t see it, but I did. That’s just denial isn’t it?
“I knew that drinking wasn’t helping me get over my injuries, but at the same time they were helping me get over them in my head.”
Cresswell sought help from the Sporting Chance Clinic, which helps professional sportspeople try to overcome addictions.
The Pilgrims defender now believes there is light at the end of the tunnel. He has gone more than half a year without touching a drop, recently got married and is expecting a child this summer.
“I suppose I wanted someone to grab my arm when I was going to grab a pint to stop me from doing it,” Cresswell added.
“I struggled to deal with my emotions because every time I’ve felt an emotion I’ve picked a drink up.
“So I’ve gone, what’s that now?, six months, 215 days, and I still want to pick a drink up when I feel an emotion coming. But I’m not going to.”
Cresswell arrived at York Street having played just one 90 minutes in 11 months.
But he believes he is now in a position to give his all to Craig Elliott’s side and return to his best form.
“I feel like now I’m in a position where I can go to a football club and throw my all into it again,” he said.
“Playing games, being injury free, being able to go to the gym and not feeling the aches and pains of a hangover when I’m trying to do a leg session. Those things.”
You can see the full interview on Soccer Saturday at 1.30pm this afternoon.
United host Curzon Ashton this afternoon (KO 3pm).