Abby Wambach’s memoir, “Forward” comes out today and it is just what we like to read. This is a book about highs and lows, triumphs and tests, wins as well as losses from arguably one of the best soccer players of all time, undeniably the most prolific international goal scorer.
Abby is bold yet admired and her story left us cheering. She was vulnerable and so honest even down to the titles of the chapters. She names the chapters Addict, Captain, Lesbian and Tomboy.
Abby said that there was a time when, “I was stubborn and I was in denial.” She told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I didn’t want to face the truth.” The truth was that she was addicted to vodka and pills – Vicodin, Ambien and Adderall.
“That night getting arrested was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because if I don’t get so publicly shamed and publicly humiliated, I don’t think I wake up,” she said as she prepared for a book tour. “I think I was asleep for a lot of years. Asleep to the pleas from my family and friends, and even myself, to get help. So that night I was humiliated enough to wake up.” This was her turning point. The realization that this is what she would be remembered for.
Wambach said that the night she was arrested was just a culmination of events as her life seemed out of control. Her new position at ESPN, her high profile marriage to fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman which wasn’t happy and the fact that she had been torn about retirement and where she was heading in her life had her uncertain.
The following morning, upon release from jail, Abby issued a statement on Facebook. Abby being Abby took full responsibility for her actions and apologized to her friends, family and fans. Painfully, the damage had already been done. One of the consequences was that Abby lost an endorsement from MINI USA when they withdrew her from their advertising campaign.
Abby plead guilty, agreeing to enter a diversion program for first-time offenders that included treatment. She says that, “Not only was I hiding this secret from the world for so long, so were the people that I loved – they loved me so fiercely they wanted to protect me as much as possible, almost from myself. Sarah was definitely one of my saving graces because she was one of the first people in my life who made me aware of the problems that I was having,” Abby said. “And this was years ago. This isn’t something that just snuck up on me when I retired from soccer. This is something I’ve been dealing with for years now.” Despite the fact that friends and family including everyone from Huffman to teammate Sydney Leroux and Abby’s friend Kara Mirarchi all tried to intervene. Abby had to come to resolution within herself, for herself.
Abby has become an activist, recently taking a knee in support of Colin Kaepernick, putting action behind the causes she feels strongly about both social and political. Abby is comfortable with who she is and not at all ashamed about anything that has happened to her she says it let her to where she is right now. She is more vocal than ever and proud of where she is. What a great place to be. Proud.
We suggest you pick up her book.