How Drew Robinson’s Story Inspired Me

The uplifting story of Drew Robinson inspires me, and he should inspire you.

Robinson+stands+in+the+street%2C+smiling%2C+wearing+an+End+the+Stigma+shirt+encouraging+people+to+open+up+about+their+mental+health.

Drew Robinson

Robinson stands in the street, smiling, wearing an “End the Stigma” shirt encouraging people to open up about their mental health.

Jack Freeman, Co-Editor in Chief

Editors Note: This story contains depictions of violence, suicide, and other dark themes. 

April 16, 2020, was the day Drew Robinson, the 27-year old struggling baseball player, sat in his kitchen and ate breakfast. Once he finished, he grabbed a pen and paper and prepared to write his last words before ending his life.

“I hope eventually that you guys will realize that no one could’ve seen this coming to prevent it because of how hard I try to hide it,” he wrote, “and that it’s no one else’s fault.”

Like most with mental health issues, Robinson tried to hide behind a mask created by himself. A cheery, happy, funny person who was living out his dream by playing baseball professionally. Even his family couldn’t see through the mask he created, and so he signed his note. “I’m sorry. Drew Robinson”.

He wanted everything to be tidy everything as not to leave any other problems for his family to deal with. Once he did, at 8 P.M Robinson grabbed his gun, lifted it to the right side of his head, and fired.

Thankfully, this did not produce Robinson’s desired outcome, and only 20 hours later, he regained consciousness. Though he lost his right eye during the process, he lived and discovered a new purpose in life.

Robinson tells ESPN, “I’m here for a reason, to tell a story… not just of the before, but the after as well.” 

With this newfound life, Robinson (who signed with the San Francisco Giants in 2020) looked forward to the future.

On May 5, 2021, the minor league affiliate for the San Francisco Giants, the Sacramento Rivercats, revealed that Robinson had made the final roster. One day later, he made his debut, the first time stepping on a baseball diamond to play a game since his attempted suicide.

Why am I telling you all this, you may ask? Well, for one, it is a fantastic story of triumph, climbing back from the darkest place in life to one of the brightest. But for me, this story hits closer to home.

Ever since I was little, I have battled my mental health, from severe anxiety to the point of collapse to my chronic depression. These things have led to some moments in my life I am not proud of, and the contemplation of ending my own life or apathy towards existing is one I am all too familiar with. 

Feeling undeserving, having to put on a face to avoid scrutiny from peers, loss of purpose, and utter hopelessness has been a staple in my life for as long as I can remember. These feelings, combined with other factors, have pushed me to the exact point where Robinson was when he felt it necessary to end his own life.

That is why I am telling you this story of his life and mine. Because if you feel this way, you are not alone. Millions of people feel the same way you do. You are not alone in a fight that may seem hopeless and never-ending. 

Robinson inspires me because I see myself in him, and I know if he can do it — if he can get through the lowest point in his life and come out better for it — then so can I. And so can you.

He also inspires me to share my story. Only together can we work together to end the stigma around mental health because that is the only way we will make it better.

Even if Robinson never steps up to bat at Oracle Park or any major league ballpark ever again, he has done more for everyone with depression than he could ever do with a bat and a glove. 

Every time I see him play, I see him step up to the plate, stand in the outfield. No matter the outcome, I am inspired. He gives me hope because I know no matter how dark and hopeless it may seem, it can always get better. 

Robinson is a shining example that every life is worth living. Even from the darkest point in life, the other side will always be lighter. You’ll only know that if you make it there, so keep going. It’s not going to be easy, not by a long shot, but it will be better, and you may find yourself hitting a homerun in your own way very soon.