Reggie, a retired NFL football player, is now looking towards pursuing a Master's degree in counseling with the goal of assisting fellow athletes who are facing histories of sexual violence.

Throughout his journey, Reggie had a complex relationship with football. The sport served as his therapy for years, providing an outlet for the pain and anger that stemmed from nearly a decade of sexual abuse by a family friend. However, as time passed, football transformed into a trap that bound him to a cycle of violence he no longer desired or needed.

Within his family dynamic, Reggie played the crucial role of the "glue" – the mediator who resolved disputes and uplifted others when they were down. Consequently, there was no space for Reggie to confront his own abuse.

Fortunately, Reggie found solace in football. It became a realm where he could unleash his pent-up anger, rage, depression, and sadness without judgment. On the football field, violence was glorified, providing an avenue for Reggie to release his emotions and temporarily avoid confronting them. He played the game with uninhibited abandon.

During his time playing college football at Kansas State, the pressure within Reggie continued to mount. To cope, he resorted to excessive drinking, concealing his profound depression and chronic thoughts of suicide from everyone, including his teammates.

Reggie's breakthrough occurred while he was playing in the NFL. The weight of his struggles became too overwhelming, prompting him to seek support. He reached out to Pastor Chad during a bible study session and expressed his need to talk. Pastor Chad listened attentively and connected Reggie with a counselor, marking the beginning of his journey towards emerging from the darkness.

Each passing year in the NFL further revealed to Reggie that football had always served as a cover-up for his pain. After a fulfilling six-year career, he made the decision to walk away from the sport. Reggie returned to Kansas State University, this time solely as a student, to complete his undergraduate degree. His focus is now firmly set on earning a Master's degree in counseling, driven by his desire to assist fellow athletes in overcoming their own struggles and finding their way out of the darkness.

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