By Melanie Nathan, September 12, 2016.
Soccer legend Abby Wambach expresses her “Truth” on her Facebook timeline, while announcing the launch of her memoir, “Forward”.
Wambach, an open lesbian, having scored 184 career goals, is the leading career scorer, male or female, in international soccer. She retired in December after 15 years with the U.S. women’s national team.
I may have scored more international goals than anyone in the history of the soccer. I’ve also been called a tomboy, dyke, bitch, coward, failure, control freak, rebel, fraud. And a few more, on the flip side: phenom, inspiration, champion, leader, hero. At a young age, I learned you own labels by defying them, and defy them by owning them.
Tomorrow I am publishing a book that may shock and even disappoint some people. For thirty years, scoring goals was my currency, the one skill I could barter for security and acceptance and love. Rarely did I pause long enough to consider what might come next, and how the shape of my life would look without soccer to fill it up. Writing this book has allowed me the space to do that (thank you Karen Abbott). Writing this book has been a true gift.
When you read about my lows, my self-doubt, my drinking, you might judge me and that is ok. But no matter who you are or what you’ve done with your life, I bet you will recognize the feeling I describe, that private terror that makes you wonder if you’re lost for good. You’re not.
I am nervous to open up and talk about my struggles for the first time this week. But I hope in so doing, we can change the conversation about what it means to be a “hero.” Heros fail. They fall down. They screw up. Heroes tell the truth.
I am so grateful for your support. Here’s to moving #Forward.
In “Forward,” the retired U.S. national team star recounts her battle with drugs and alcohol, the ups and downs of her career , from the lows of her high school championship to the highs of winning the Women’s World Cup last year. She also tells of her high-profile marriage to fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman and the struggles they faced.
Creatively noting the labels that have been used in describing her, her book Chapters are entitled: Tomboy, Captain, Lesbian, and Addict.
“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…
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.”
Read and see pictures about Abby Wambach ‘s retirement HERE