Bill Bayno has had a career in college and pro basketball, as player and coach, but struggled with alcoholism for much of it. Now an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves,
he has 11 years sober. Bayno is speaking out about his past issues with alcohol, his ability to be a functioning alcoholic and when his alcoholism caught up with him. This All-American superstar was courted by recruiters with alcohol, but they didn’t know he was more than a social drinker. During his coaching years his alcoholism became more evident.
Bayno told the Associated Press that drinking helped him cope with the anxiety and insomnia of producing wins as a coach. Bayno said the greater responsibilities that came with coaching made him realize how serious his alcoholism was. “That was the first time I really confronted my alcoholism. Who knows if I would have gotten sober if I hadn’t been put in that pressure cooker, which really made me look inside and say you know what you’ve got a problem. You’ve got to stop or you’re going to die.”
Anxiety is common among those who struggle with alcoholism. It is often the underlying emotion that can lead someone to self-medicate. If the alcoholic does not know how to manage uncomfortable emotions in a healthy way, he or she will be at risk for relapse. It seems that Bayno understands the importance of handling his anxiety and insomnia without alcohol to keep his dream of coaching a reality.
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