Izzy Pacho Columnn

IZZY’S POV: Mental Health Break


Hi Wildcat Fans!

As many of you already know, I took a step away from our team for a couple of weeks. I want to tell my story. I am proud of who I am and every step I have taken throughout my journey so far. I reached a point in my career where I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and just completely burnt out. After having a session with my psychologist, she decided that I needed a break. This was the first time in my life where I decided to take care of myself.

Arizona’s Izzy Pacho and her sister Denissa Dumloa (Pacho photo)

It was the smallest of things that would make me take a deep breath and question what I was doing. From putting my socks on, to starting warmups, and talking to people about the game — it all became too much, and I felt like I wasn’t handling it the way I used to. I went into every single game and practice a zero, so every bad thing that happened on the field just beat me into the ground. I did what most athletes do, I pushed through, and did whatever I could to get through each day. I think the hardest thing for me to understand was that it was softball that was causing me so much pain. All other aspects of my life were great. I was my happiest self off the field and that was such a foreign feeling to me. How can something that has made me so happy, for pretty much my entire life, make me so miserable and exhausted?

Picturesque Sabino Canyon (Pacho photo)

My teammates and coaches have been so supportive. Their ongoing love and acceptance allowed me to do this. So, I took a couple weeks to be “normal.” No softball, workouts, traveling, or being on campus more than I had to. This forced me to live my life without softball. It has been 18 years (I’m 22) since I have done that. I leaned on my Mom, Dad and siblings to support me and have those conversations with. I journaled as much as I could and cried almost every day. I went to the Reid Park Zoo, Harkins, St. Phillip’s Farmers Market, Sabino Canyon, Tohono Chul, my brother’s volleyball game, and several parks to sit and read. I tried restaurants I had never been to and binge-watched Ted Lasso.

Two weeks felt more like two years, but it was needed.

I am better, I am ready to come back, and I am finally at peace. I wanted to tell my story so that those who are going through similar things don’t feel alone. Your mental health is just as serious as any physical injury. Take care of yourself and know that you are never alone.

See you at Rita this weekend!

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