On a recent edition of The Sessions, Stokely Hathaway spoke candidly about the mental health issues that came to a head in February of this year. While he was still working in NXT as Malcon Bevins, Hathaway revealed to Renee Paquette waking up feeling “crazy” and feeling unable to function, leading to him voluntarily committing himself to a mental hospital in Florida. Read on for Hathaway’s story:
On when he felt “debilitated” by his mental health: “To be completely honest, in February, I woke up one day and I just felt miserable. I just felt… crazy. I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know what was going on. It kind of went away; it kept increasing to the point where it was just debilitating. I voluntarily committed myself. This was on a Friday, and I think I got out on Sunday.”
On voluntarily committing himself: “It was a very interesting experience, mainly because I would say in Florida, it’s like… prison for the mentally ill. So when I went in, I had no idea what I was in for. I was in kind of like a cell. No real sheets, just like a metal frame that you laid on. The sink was rigged to where it was motion-detected. They gave you a little thing of soap, a thing of toothpaste. It was literally… couldn’t go into your room until eight or nine pm, and then you have to wake up at six am. Then you just like… walk the floor, and that was it. You just walk back and forth to fill up the time. That was three days of that. Afterwards I was like, maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought [laughs].”
On not feeling like he had anybody to talk to: “[I was] trying to just manage everything. I do regret leaning into the “being funny” thing. It’s hard for people to take you seriously. What am I gonna say, “I feel this way, I feel that way.” I don’t think there was anyone really to listen, or that I could vent or talk to. Then especially with social media nowadays. One, it’s hard to take people seriously. Two, I feel like… I don’t wanna say it’s a “thing” to use mental health as a crutch? But I felt like no one would believe me if I said I feel this way, I feel that way.”
On who he told at the time: “At that time, I didn’t tell anyone. I literally wasn’t on my phone because they take your phone away. I had minor communication. At one point, I had to fight to get my phone. I have a dog; he was at the dogsitters. Thankfully I was able to arrange it last minute. I had to like check in. They allowed me to get my phone for a few minutes. Afterwards, I told people close to me that I could trust. Obviously, it worked, because it didn’t get out.”
On some reasons why he thinks it became too much: “For me, there is a lot of pressure because I feel like as a black talent, I get judged more harshly than other people. Everything I do is overanalyzed. Obviously, everyone gets a critique but I feel like mine is at a different level. I’m also incredibly hard on myself. I had to realize it’s wrestling. It’s just wrestling. This isn’t a live or die situation. So for me, it was dealing with that. I’m very introverted, I’m very closed off. I have this small circle of people that I trust, I should probably realize that more.”
On some ways he works to keep himself centered and healthy: “People may think it’s crazy, but I pray everyday. Even if you are, I would say, an atheist, I think at the end of the day it’s something that helps. Whether there is a God, Allah, whatever. I think just being able to focus, and having a piece of mind that has helped me. I’d rather be safe than sorry, y’know? I do not want to go to hell, if there is one. That has been important to me.”
On how he felt after this experience, going right back to work at NXT: “I was miserable. I had to go back to work the next day. It was a pre-tape… okay. Back into reality. So I had to just chop back into it; try to just get my shit together.”
If you use any of the above quotations, please credit The Sessions h/t 411mania for the transcription.
Stokely Hathaway, Jonathan Hunter
Copyright © 2022 411mania.com, LLC. All rights reserved.