Kyle Turley's foray into music isn't just a fun hobby. The former Rams, Saints and Chiefs offensive lineman says the creative outlet is a sort of relief, a catharsis, where he can escape from the troubling thoughts and feelings that are growing more prevalent.
In an excellent profile of Turley in U-T San Diego, Michael Gehlken describes the hardships the 37-year-old Turley has faced since retiring in 2007.
The former first-round pick, a two-time All-Pro who played in 109 career games, is struggling with something. And the worst part is, he's not exactly sure what it is. Turley was diagnosed with two concussions during his NFL career, but in all likelihood he suffered many more. And as with some former NFL players, like Junior Seau, there's a chance that the repeated head trauma Turley suffered during his playing days is contributing to what Turley calls "the impulse."
Turley explained to Gehlken that every so often he has an uncontrollable feeling that produces certain actions. One time after experiencing it he got in his car and drove to a parking lot, where he called the NFL's Life Line, a support service for current and former players. The project was launched several months after the death of Seau.
These troubling impulses don't seem to be genetic, so it's hard not to wonder if they're related to all the hits Turley took as an offensive lineman.
"No one in my family has ever gone crazy and killed themselves or thought about that," Turley told Gehlken. "I have. It's not a thought that is fleeting. It's a thought that goes away when I'm on my medication, and the thought of doing a lot of crazy things as well and making unbelievable decisions."
Turley has two children, a 2-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, making these random and dangerous impulses all the more frightening.
“I've got young kids,” Turley said. "It's scary as hell. It keeps me up at night. It's something that weighs on me heavily."
To read Gehlken's full story, see here.