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Diagnosed as bipolar, Johnny Manziel aims for a football comeback

February 12, 2018 GMT

Everyone loves a second-chance story.

That’s what Heisman Trophy winner and one-time Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is hoping at least.

In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Manziel said he’s reflected on his past mistakes and is ready to make a comeback on the football field.

“I am watching all the other guys doing what I want to be doing and I am sitting on a couch being a loser,” Manziel said in the interview that aired Monday morning on ABC.

Manziel said “about a year ago” he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and he’s now on medication. He also said that he’s stopped drinking, having realized that alcohol was merely a way of “self-medicating” his bouts with depression.

“At the end of the day I can’t help that my wires are a little bit differently crossed than yours, I can’t help my mental makeup of the way that I was created,” Manziel said. “But I know if I stay on these meds and I continue to do what I am doing right now. ... I think my dad, my mom, I think (my girlfriend Breana Tiesi), would all agree that they see a drastic change.”

Known to fans as Johnny Football, Manziel was awarded the Heisman in 2012 as the quarterback at Texas A&M. At 19 years old, he was the first freshman to earn the honor.

In 2014, Manziel was the first-round pick of the Browns. But after only two unproductive seasons, the team let him go.

“You are left staring at the ceiling by yourself and in that depression and back in that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself, super depressed, thinking about all the mistakes you made in your life,” he said. “What did that get me? Where did that get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgraced.”

As part of his comeback attempt, Manziel said he has been working out and asking NFL teams to give him a second look.

“I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be,” he said, “but I know I want to get back on a football field to what brought me so much joy in my life and it makes me happy doing as my job.”