The question was simple and straightforward.
Brandy Halladay twirled the question in her head, her lips moved, but no words came out, and after three, four, five seconds, she finally answered.
"Yes," she blurted out.
She was asked if she believed that her late husband, the Hall of Fame pitcher Roy "Doc" Halladay, was addicted. This is Halladay's complicated legacy.
The Halladay family should be at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Friday and celebrate the 10th anniversary of their perfect game against the Miami Marlins. Instead, E: 60 will be televised by ESPN at 7 p.m., a powerful and exciting documentary entitled "Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story". ET Friday, led by director John Barr, uncovered Halladay's demons that few knew. His life ended in a plane crash where his body was filled with drugs.
"Everyone saw him as this very strong, dominant person," said Brandy Halladay to Barr and ESPN, "but he was scared." He didn't feel like he had the luxury of making a mistake.
“He was tortured. It really was. He was a tortured man. "
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Halladay, who was killed on the morning of November 7, 2017 when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, had opioids, amphetamines, antidepressants, and anxiety medications in his body. He had been to drug rehabilitation centers twice. Once, for three weeks in 2013 when he played for the Phillies. Another time for three months in 2015 after retirement.
There were signs of his addiction, say his teammates and Phillies employees. Some days he didn't seem to be himself. He was there physically, but his thoughts wandered. His eyes were blank. He tried to tell friends that he was fine, that he had only marital problems and was being counseled, but that he could not hide his addiction from those close to him.
"Something was wrong with him," said Kyle Kendrick, his former Phillies teammate and close friend. "The way he behaved, you could see that something was wrong. I tried to speak to him and felt that he was not there.
"It was just terrible to see."
The Phillies aid program tried to help Halladay in his fight against addiction, depression and anxiety. His wife too. His closest friends. His parents and sisters.
When Halladay retired in 2013, everyone wanted to believe that he would be better. He would no longer need the painkillers to keep up with his severe back and shoulder pain, the sleeping pills that help him survive the night before each start, and the anti-anxiety medication that still doesn't make him vomit every time hindered took the hill.
"These pills didn't fix the problem," says Brandy Halladay, "they masked the symptoms so he could do his job."
The addiction put a heavy strain on her marriage, and when Halladay fought 6.82 ERA 4: 5 last season in 2013 and lasted only a third of an inning against the Marlins last season, Brandy asked him to retire
"Brandy had enough," said Barr. "She presented it to him like this:" If you don't get away from baseball, we're done. ""
Halladay, 36, retired in a tearful press conference at baseball winter gatherings on December 9, 2013, saying his body was shot and it was time to be with his family. Thirteen months later, he was back at a drug rehabilitation center in West Palm Beach and spent three months before returning to his family.
"He didn't know how to rate himself without baseball," said Brandy Halladay. "He didn't know who he was. If baseball was his ID, what was he? He stopped taking care of himself inside and out. He was just lost."
Halladay's weight fluctuated from £ 300 to £ 205 after retirement. He saw a psychiatrist. He underwent marriage counseling. His only escape was flying. He bought two single-engine aircraft and later a two-seater amphibious aircraft, the Icon A5.
The sky was his salvation. He felt free. He felt at peace.
On the morning of November 7th, he took his new plane with him. He was supposed to give a band concert at school with Brandy and his youngest son Ryan. He told her he would take the plane from her lakeside home in Odessa, Florida, on a 40 km trip north to the local Brooksville-Tampa Bay regional airport. Instead, he turned west toward the Gulf of Mexico.
When Halladay left the house, Brandy said he was a little sad, calm, and scattered. But impaired? Brandy didn't see that.
Halladay took off on his plane, hovered over the Gulf of Mexico and began daring maneuvers, flying up to 500 feet, then barely falling over the water and doing it over and over again.
Once too many.
It was only 17 minutes in the air when the plane landed on the water. The plane was falling apart. Halladay was killed on impact, his body found in four feet of water. Halladay's autopsy report revealed high levels of morphine and amphetamines in his body, as well as an antidepressant, sleep aid, and traces of alcohol.
Halladay's father, Roy Halladay Jr., a commercial pilot, told Sports Illustrated last summer he didn't know if his son's accident was a suicide, but Brandy Halladay vehemently denied there was any intention.
"She said he never committed suicide," Barr said, "he wasn't in the darkness of a place. She wants to calm this story down. When the plane crashed down and he tried to get his nose off Pulling up a dive doesn't support this trail of evidence to support this theory.
"The reality is that we do not know why it crashed. We know that it flew ruthlessly. We know that it was not a mechanical error. However, it is believed that it was affected on this last flight . "
Braden, her eldest son, who is a minor league pitcher in the organization of the Toronto Blue Jays and spent hours on the boat deck with his mother on the afternoon of his father's death, considers it pointless to be surprised at all.
"It just doesn't matter to me," said Braden. "I don't think I have to get upset about why it happened. Or how it happened. Because frankly, it doesn't have an advantage that I know.
"The only thing it can do is hurt if it's something I don't want to hear."
The hope is that Halladay's addictions, first with alcohol and then with drugs, will ask others for help. May is the month of mental health.
It shouldn't be a shame to ask for help.
"I hope someone hears our story …" says Brandy Halladay. “Everyone should be able to ask for help and not be judged or looked down on.
"When a person asks for help that they were previously afraid of, we have done something good."
Follow Bob Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale