Big Cass opens up with Chris Van Vliet about the stigma that there's on mental health in wrestling
Publish Date: Apr 23, 2021
you're at the top of your career at that point. Like, things are going really, really well for you and w w we you don't want that to be taken away from you either. So I think maybe you're thinking if I tell someone have a problem, all of this gets taken away, which is an unreasonable thing because people understand. And but yeah, I guess you don't want to say anything. Your career, your personal life uh and you love putting out that image even to those closest to you that you're you're fine and you don't want to be weak. So um yeah, you're just you're playing a part all day when you're around people. It's an act. Did you know that a w w we released would be imminent? Yeah, I had a feeling I was really acting out and uh really making a lot of mistakes in fairly short amount of time. And I definitely expected it. That's for sure. Like you had a big match of the pay per view that weekend money in the bank. Yeah. And then two days later you're released without them wishing you well in your future endeavors. Yeah. I don't know what that was about. But um I do you know I remember the day that I was fired. It was a meeting with Vince and we were meeting him and Carano were in there for quite a while and we had a really good conversation and uh it was more of a conversation about the performance was not even was maybe touched upon for a minute in terms of you know, big cast. That whole conversation was mostly about William morrissey and uh yeah, I mean I don't know why the future endeavors wasn't I don't know, I don't look into that. But I got I thought it was you know when I thought well it was amicable when I left that building that day, Do you feel like the door is still open at W. E. Uh I do. I think with time and uh earning, you know, people's trust, you know, just as I earn my family's trust and friends trust. You know, it's people have to see you're doing well over a certain period of time to when they say this isn't the act, it's a new person. I'd have to think it begins with one of the fans over. Yeah. And that has started. Yeah. And I like I said, I wasn't even sure that that was gonna be the case and I was so um blown away at their the positive response to the gun on social media. And uh I guess I I really shouldn't have been surprised because um when I first went into rehab, uh Dallas uh had people who said fans can send fan mail and supportive mail to the DDP Y Performance Center. Yeah. And uh, they would, he would ship them down to me uh, to Tampa was in rehab, and they just kept coming. And I had so many envelopes filled with fan mail, people really supportive men. And I will look back at that stuff now, like, and just it really, it uh, it really brightens my spirits because people were behind me, even from that that gecko, but like I said, it's self conscious business, you think they're not gonna remember me, but that I should have just always went back to those, those letters that people wrote me because there was so many of them and open them, and I still go back and read them forever. You know, you know, feel down on a certain day, I'll go back and read some of them. Is there any specific letter or any specific line for many of them that stand out and makes you go, oh my God, maybe it brings tears to your eyes. Not that I can think of one specific line, but there's a lot of love. So and so many people relating either themselves or a family member and saying this happened or uh they could relate to the situation and that's in that situation. I guess that's something you really need is someone to relate to you. You need to feel like you're not alone, not an outcast and you need to feel like, okay, there's people out there who are suffering just like me well, and I appreciate you opening up about this because everybody deals with this on some sort of level and they certainly know somebody who's dealing with it. Yeah. And I think opening up took a huge weight off of me, But also I think, um just my point of view is, in my opinion, um, if I'm not talking about it, who am I helping? Yeah. If I'm going through this and I'm and I'm gaining, you know, all this positive from, you know, other people and getting their advice if I'm not talking about it and who am I helping? Because if nobody knows and no one can relate, say, wow, like he's going through that or well, I'm I'm going through the same thing, which a lot of people wrote about in the letters and without me, I know I felt like it was a little bit selfish for me to keep that to myself uh as crazy as that sounds because it is my personal life. But um, yeah, I just wanted people to be able to relate to me. You probably have people coming up to you every day going, man, I'm five years sober. 10 years or 15 years or whatever it happens to be. Yeah. You had a giant line at wrestling con today and yesterday. Yeah. I imagine there's a bunch of people in that line telling you that same thing. Yeah, there's a, there's, there's a bunch of people, there's one guy that I was there yesterday is 10 years sober and uh, it's, there's so many people that, you know, you don't realize it, but they'll come up to you and then they'll say like, I appreciate what you're doing, like I'm proud of you and, you know, I'm XmL, you're sober and stuff like that. So if you weren't ready for recovery the first time, because other people were, you know, asking you to do this, what made you ready for the time now? Mhm. It became a matter of life and death, wow. Yeah, it was uh you know, I had a few few more seizures after the who won in philadelphia after I went.