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On many sleepless nights, Bubba Watson thought he was going to die.

Alone in the darkness with only his thoughts to keep him business as he handled crippling anxiety that kept him up in the evening, Watson pondered his mortality and frequently reflected to the passing of his dad and namesake, Gerry, a previous Green Beret who fought post-traumatic stress disorder and passed away in 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Not even terrific memories of his other half, Angie, and their 2 adopted kids, Caleb and Dakota, provided him comfort enough to sleep.

His days weren’t simple, either.

“I had a lot of sound in my head,” Watson told Golfweek in a current phone interview about some of his darkest moments some 2 years earlier. “I believed I was going to pass away. It was rough.”

So, too, were the 3 times in current years he was rushed to the medical facility believing his life was going to end from a cardiovascular disease. Or when he simply didn’t seem like playing and desired to withdraw from a tournament. Or the time 18 months earlier when he tipped the scale at 162 pounds, some 30-35 pounds listed below his typical weight, because the worry raging through his body made eating nearly impossible.

“When I began losing the weight and was getting skinny, it offered me flashbacks to my father,” Watson stated. “So that offered me more mental concerns, more anxiety.

“So I stop weighing myself.”

The Memorial Bubba Watson talks with his caddie Ted Scott on the ninth hole throughout the preliminary of the 2020 Memorial Competition. Photo by Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

But the extreme stress and anxiety attacks continued and his mind kept racing and he kept suffering. As did his work inside the ropes. As soon as ranked No. 2 worldwide, the two-time Masters champ with 12 PGA Trip titles was up to No. 65 previously this year. He has actually rarely contended considering that his newest win in the 2018 Travelers Champion.

Throughout this uncomfortable time, Watson, who turns 42 on Nov. 5, sought professional aid and remained in regular contact with doctors. He’s the first to tell you he has concerns, a lot of them, and he’ll readily admit he’s on the tense side and self-diagnosed with attention deficit condition. He jokes about his zany funny bone and his quirky ways, being a left-hander and all with a pink chauffeur that sends missiles into the horizon. Remember the “Golf Boys” videos? The Instagram video posts of various technique shots, consisting of blasting a golf ball through a watermelon? How he talked of the pleasure of playing video games hours on end?

The big kid from the Florida Panhandle town of Bagdad, who played on the exact same Milton High School golf team as fellow PGA Tour winners Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum, never let on to the serious nature of what he has dealt with and continues to cope with. He hesitated to completely discuss his concerns throughout various interviews, specifically when his weight reduction was plainly visible and his video game was in tatters.

Watson has emerged on the other side, saying he’s sensation as good as he has in an extremely long time. And assisting him battle the anxiety is discussing it.

“I have actually sought assistance in many various ways, lots of various types, trying to conquer it,” Watson stated. “It truly comes down to me being nuts. I’m trying to play down it because utilizing humor helps. However it’s all in my head. It’s all stress and anxiety.

“I think more people are speaking up about psychological issues and I desire to be among them. I think it’s the only method to survive it. We’re created to speak to individuals, to air it out, and get help. I am old enough now to realize my life is a waste if I don’t share, if I do not try to get much better myself so I can help other individuals.”

Over the years, Watson has typically said he requires help, that he fears lots of things, including flying, crowded areas, the spotlight, and now COVID-19. He stresses over being a good daddy, good other half, good Christian, an excellent friend. He continues to tension about living life as a star, about being a two-time Masters champ, about what is stated and discussed him in newspapers and on social media, although he confesses his actions sometimes have actually made him a simple target.

Waste Mangement Phoenix Open 2020 Bubba Watson plays his third shot from a bunker on the 14th hole throughout the second round of the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Image by Rob Schumacher/The Republic by means of U.S.A. TODAY NETWORK

“The Bible states life isn’t simple. Life just develops,” he said. “Individuals composing articles that make me look bad. Individuals stating bad aspects of me. That’s integrated in my head, that I’m not an excellent person, I’m not a good golf player, I’m not the other half I require to be, I’m not the good friend I need to be.

“So I put my own expectations on myself and it keeps structure and building. And in some cases you go to a breaking point. Luckily for me, my snapping point has actually never ever driven me to drinking or drugs.”

When confronted with breaking points, Watson rather turned to household, faith and good friends. His spouse is his voice of reason. And his tight inner circle provides a strong support system, including his long time caddie, Ted Scott.

“I’ve constantly known he’s had worries and concerns,” Scott stated. “But when he began losing all that weight, I knew that wasn’t good. Particularly since he kept going to the physician and the doctors were informing him he was fine. They kept running tests. When you get to that stage, something had to be happening with his brain. And he wasn’t believing correctly, and that was triggering him tension.

“However Bubba has a tremendous faith in God and a significant assistance group, two things that assist you no matter what comes down the pike. His speaking up is empowering. When I read my Bible, it speaks about keeping sin in the dark and that’s where it manifests. It resembles mold, it grows in the dark. The sunlight can squash that things, so any time you have concerns, and we all have them, when you can reveal it to somebody who cares, that’s empowering.

“He might have the ability to help others, to inform them there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Watson also finds that breathing workouts and cbdMD concentrated herbal extracts help him discover that light. Watson just recently started working with a breathing coach and established exercises that assist calm his mind and heart rate.

And about 18 months ago he began taking items produced by cbdMD, the only American CBD company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The items assist with common pains and discomforts and the oil tinctures he utilizes to soothe his mind and help him sleep. The products are THC complimentary, but Watson nonetheless sent urine samples weekly for 6 months to a WADA lab. Every test came back THC free.

“That offered me more stress and anxiety, fretting about the tests,” Watson stated. “The oil is not a recommended medication but it assists me.”

While Watson and his golf video game are in a much better state these days, he continues to take steps to temper prospective stress and anxiety attacks. He was badly checked at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York in September.

The course– with ankle-high rough, company, thin fairways and fast greens– teed up angst. As did Hurricane Sally, which began pummeling Watson’s hometown of Pensacola, Florida, the day prior to the U.S. Open started. The storm caused an approximated $30 million worth of damage to the Pensacola area. Watson’s property was not harmed; generators kept the electricity flowing and the Watsons opened their doors to those in requirement.

“My stress and anxiety developed, fretting about the U.S. Open and dealing with that course, and fretting about my household, my neighbors, my hometown. I wished to help,” Watson stated. “I called my partner and she stated everything was going to be OKAY. She soothed me down.”

Watson connected for 31st at the U.S. Open and has considering that published two of his best results because golf returned in June– a tie for seventh in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek and a tie for fourth in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood.

Zozo Championship Bubba Watson plays his shot from the second tee throughout the second round of the 2020 Zozo Champion @ Sherwood on October 23, 2020 in Thousand Oaks, California. Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

“I’ve noticed a distinction in the method he is handling stress on the course, specifically at the U.S. Open,” Scott stated. “At Shadow Creek and at Sherwood, he appeared to be in a fantastic place to start competing again. Bubba undoubtedly hasn’t lost the physical capability to compete. He’s quite much of a freak. It’s all a matter of self-confidence, the desire to put your ego on the line. He has to be comfy in the spotlight and the last few weeks he has done that.

“I believe he’s in an excellent position going to Augusta.”

Watson will tell you he’s in an excellent position going forward.

“It requires time to get to that low level and it takes time to leave that low level,” he said. “I’ve probably remained in the low level 3 various stages as an expert golf enthusiast however I’ve left it. Now, hopefully, I catch those moments when I could spiral back down once again, before my stress and anxiety levels crank up.

“I need to try and remain in balance. And right now I’m at an all-time high.”