MIAMI – Miami Heat's Dion Waiters on Wednesday was doing what he loves and does best -- playing basketball.
He was doing so with confidence because he feels like himself again.
But that wasn't the case for a very long time.
"We're only human, so we're going to do everything just like everyone else," Waiters said.
Waiters said a lengthy recovery from ankle surgery was not only a struggle physically, but mentally as well.
Local 10's interview with Waiters came days after he took to social media to show off a much slimmer physique and called out those who called him names over the course of his difficult comeback.
"We have anxiety, we have depression. We have you know all types of things, and we're better every day," Waiters said. "If I can share my story with some people, because there might be someone out there who's down and out or, you know, just somewhere low in life right now that might need a spark, hopefully my story will help that."
Waiters said his recovery took an emotional toll on him because most people send insults without knowing how much he had to go through in rehabilitating himself following the surgery.
"I was in surgery for seven hours, so it was like a brand-new ankle and I was off my feet for like nine months. So it was tough, man. It was tough," Waiters said.
Waiters now has an extra pep in his step. He said the depression he felt is in the past because he's not focused on what people say, but instead on what he's been able to do.
"It changed my mindset," Waiters said. "It made me appreciate the good things in life."