Doc Gooden: “I never thought I’d live this long”

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Memorial Day weekend there will be a reunion of the 1986 Mets team at Citi Field and one of the most famous members of hat Mets team was Doc Gooden. He was also one of the most infamous members of that Mets team as well, what with his decades long struggle with drug and alcohol abuse which, it’s not unreasonable to say, robbed him of what could have easily been a Hall of Fame career.

John Harper of the Daily News caught up with Gooden and has a story about his ongoing battles with addiction and a now-five-year commitment to sobriety. Gooden is unflinching in his assessment of himself and where his life has been and in how hard he works to keep his life on the straight and narrow:

“That’s what makes every day so joyous for me right now because I remember the days when I was in houses with people I didn’t know, getting high, not knowing if I was ever going to get my life back together. And at times accepting, ‘maybe this is who I am, maybe I’m going to die like this.’ When I look back at everything I’ve done, even if it’s just everything I did to my body, I never thought I’d live this long.”

The story talks about Gooden’s time in prison as well as just how hard it has been for him to adjust to life outside of it. Most worrisome are the many references he makes to how hard it is to stay clean now, especially given (a) how much he credits his family and domestic life to keeping him clean; but (b) his most recent marriage ended in divorce and he doesn’t always get to see his kids on a regular basis.

Here’s hoping he continues to find his way, no matter how hard it gets.