You Can Get There from Here
Part 3

Barry Buss

Bounced from the JDC team with more risk coming.

At the end of Part 2 (Click Here), I had been suspended from the Junior Davis Cup team and it was agreed I would play the next event on my own, though not entirely on my own, for my JDC teammates and coaching staff would also be there watching my every move.

A moment of crisis. It's unimaginable in this day and age that a talented troubled teen like myself wouldn't have a single adult to turn in a crisis for guidance. But I didn't. My JDC Coaches had a team to manage and my parents and I weren't having such heart to hearts. In my upside down shame-filled thinking, I made the calculation long ago the less my folks knew of my problems the better.

Seventeen and messy, I was a box of red flags screaming for help. For staying sober the night before an important match should not have been a hard decision. In a situation where there were no options, I somehow manufactured one, rationalizing and bargaining my way into making the absolute worst decision imaginable for my life in the most emphatic of fashions.

Was this a momentary lapse of reason? Or had the encroachment of addiction eroded my ability to make sound decisions about what was best for myself?

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Growing up in Boston and Los Angeles, Barry became a national ranked junior player at the age of 12, and a member of the elite USTA Junior Davis Cup Team. As a college player he tied the legendary Jimmy Connors 22 match win streak at UCLA. He is now an independent teaching pro working in Franklin, Tennessee.

You Can Get There From Here

The harrowing tale of an American junior tennis standout's descent into alcoholism, addiction, bipolar disorder, and eventual hospitalization and his journey toward healing and recovery. Essential reading if you care about alcoholism, recovery and mental health, with competitive tennis forming the backdrop of Buss' life.

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