I’m Rob Schremp. One-time hockey fenom, long-time pro player, life-long fighter of depression. There. I said it.
Although I’ve always been outgoing and straightforward, it’s never been easy to talk about depression, especially on paper like this. But my career, my experience, and VEDA Sport have given me a platform to help others battling the same shit I went through, so here it goes.
Last year, depression is why I retired from pro hockey. Throughout my life, depression threatened my wellbeing. And at a very young age, depression almost took my life. Depression is a terrible, misunderstood disease.
I was selected in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. It was awesome. I had surpassed even my own expectations for what I might achieve. But any success on the ice was increasingly matched by depression off of it. What started out as voices in my head as a 12-year-old developed into anxiety and panic attacks as an adult.
You truly aren’t yourself when you’re struggling with depression. The vices you use to cope with your demons can threaten your relationships, reputation, health, and finances; and the shame you feel when you try to admit to your “weakness” and face depression is paralyzing.
The best way I can describe depression is that it is the exact opposite of being in control. Trying to protect your relationships and overcome your shame only worsens the issue. You convince yourself that becoming the clown, retracting, or leaving will save your friendships or preserve your pride. So you do it. You make bad choices. You might even threaten or even attempt suicide. You try to hide your pain from yourself and everyone around you. You disengage and turn away the people who love you. You pick up bad habits. You screw up, and you know it.
If you can’t outfox depression, you try to numb yourself from it. Some people drink, some people do drugs, some people neglect people that matter. You push people away and the vicious cycle continues.
I have always thought depression is like quicksand. On one hand, the more you struggle, scream, and fight against it, the faster you sink. On the other, if you don’t do anything at all, you’re still stuck. The only way to get out is with help.
I found help. For me, it came in the form of a product, a brand and a new mission. More specifically, CBD and the people behind VEDA. I suffered from severe depression for so many years. I have lived it, and it’s time to help others live without it.
Two years ago I was playing in Austria – the team doctor put me on antidepressants for my severe anxiety attacks (in this world, medication was always the answer). The antidepressants worked, and I was playing my best hockey in years. The misconception that depression made you some kind of psycho was also alive and well, and after arguably the best year of my pro career, my contract wasn’t renewed. No one wanted to hire the “crazy guy.” My hand was forced, and I retired. But that’s a story for another time.
After that, I moved back to the States. Through a connections with an old hockey friend, I found VEDA, an Endocannabinoid Nutrition (ECN) company that sells CBD products. CBD was something I’d tried briefly in the summers but was ever allowed to touch while playing. ECN products are able to bring your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) back into balance and keep many of your body’s basic functions performing optimally. Your mind included.
ECN can improve everything from how soundly you sleep to supporting your appetite during chemotherapy. But this is about mental health. For me, it’s simple. Before ECN, I had a lot of ups and downs. Even on antidepressants – anyone who has been on them is aware of their side effects. But with ECN I have a lot more up days. To someone who has woken up every day for 20+ years wondering what kind of day it’s going to be, that’s what matters.
It isn’t a miracle cure. Nothing is. What it is is an alternative to medication you have to depend on. ECN isn’t a suppressant or a happy pill. It isn’t a bandaid or a cover-up. It’s nutrition that makes your mind function sharper and your body feel better. It brings your mood and your energy back into balance, naturally.
I can truly say VEDA changed my life. Things have been positive and I am the happiest I have ever been. I retired from a game I’ve played since I was a kid and feel better than I’ve felt in 16 years. I have a new purpose. Today, I’m an advocate for athlete’s mental health and alternative treatment options. Together with VEDA, I will champion this cause.
I want to say thank you to VEDA and the people behind the VEDA brands, of whom I am now a dear friend. I encourage anyone who may relate to this post in any way to learn more about alternative approaches to battling depression. Challenge yourself to laugh, breathe, somehow, someway think of something funny, and walk away from the immediate situation. This moment will pass. Please look into CBD and/or reach out to me personally. I am here to help.