As Michael Greene watched the video on his phone, he broke down. It’s the last thing he expected. The 32-year-old was at his lowest point — thinking about taking his life. But in the half minute it took the clip to play, all that changed.
In that moment, Michael says he found his guardian angel. It was Mustafa Ali.
“Despite what you’re going through, try to be the reason people believe there’s still goodness in this world,” Ali said in the Twitter video he directed to Michael last year. “Whatever it is you’re facing, you’re going to get through this. I believe in you.”
— Mustafa Ali (@MustafaAliWWE) March 23, 2017
As tears streamed down Michael’s face, his wife rushed to his side to ask what was wrong. He revealed what he had been hiding: he was struggling with his mental health and had thoughts of suicide.
In that moment, a weight was lifted from his shoulders.
It was a moment he almost didn’t make …
Ali, who made the clip after a friend alerted him to the situation, was not aware of the extent of Michael’s struggle. If you’ve ever scrolled through the 205 Live star’s Twitter feed though, the fact that he sent the tweet may not surprise you. He regularly goes out of his way to inspire others, many he’s never met. People like Michael Green — a wrestling fan in New Zealand.
“Here was someone who didn’t know me from anywhere but social media interactions reaching out to me when I’d decided there was no point to anything anymore,” Michael tells us.
In the days that followed, Michael and his wife made a plan for the future. They visited with doctors, got him on medication and worked to ensure he never reached this low again.
More than a year later, Ali checks in on him here and there — replying to his tweets and reminding Michael he still has his back. The fact he continues to reach out, despite all his success in WWE, helps keep Michael on the right track.
Earlier this month, Michael decided to get a permanent tribute to the man who saved his life. The tattoo reads, “in a world of darkness, be the light.”
“For me, it was a reminder of where I’d come from and how I got past it,” Michael said of the new ink. “We live in a world where terrible things happen every day, and yet people like Ali do what they can to try and find a balance and bring positivity to the world. Ali inspired me to try and be the same, so I carry his words with pride and in honor of the man who helped me find my way.”
Michael now hopes to inspire others to be open with themselves about their mental health and communicate their struggles to people they trust. He knows he could’ve been a statistic. Instead, he’s living proof things can get better.
“I look at all the things that have happened since that day that I could have missed out on: watching my daughter grow up, seeing my friends and family do amazing things, — hell, even Mustafa Ali in the ring at Wrestlemania – and I thank everyone who helped me be there for those things,” Michael recalled. “If you’re going through a rough patch, hold on. You never know what’s just around the corner and the things you’ll miss if you go.”
Michael says he’s here because he found his guardian angel — in a place he least expected.
It’s another reason why wrestling is good.