- (Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, aka Terry Bollea, seemingly had it all, but in 2007 things began to change for the man responsible for the phenomenon known as "Hulkamania." He found himself thinking that suicide was the answer to his problems, but then heard a voice that brought him back to himself and set him on a new path that includes God.
Hogan found fame working for the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) as the "all-American" hero.
He enjoyed a successful career and after finally leaving the WWE, appeared on the reality show "Hogan Knows Best," which featured his everyday life and family, including daughter Brooke and son Nick.
While the show enjoyed some success, it didn't last long and was canceled in 2007. That was the same year that Nick was in a serious car accident, severely injuring his passenger and best friend and sending Nick to eight months in jail.
"After the show I kinda hit rock bottom," Hogan told Oprah on her show, "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" "Everything got dark, everything happened at once. I was drinking alcohol very heavily. It just all kept piling up, it all kept mounting and mounting. I didn't know how to handle it. I always wondered how could someone possibly take their own life, and so I got to that point where I said, 'You know what, maybe this would be easy. You know, maybe this would be an easy way to fix things.'"
However, on New Year's Eve, Hogan had a life-changing, and life-affirming experience that put things in a new perspective.
"I walked outside, some kid ran up and hugged me and was like, 'Oh I grew up watching you. I didn't have a dad, you're like a dad to me.' And there was another person that said, 'Hey Hulk, we love you.' And I went, 'Oh my God' – it was right then. I didn't understand what was going on, but it hit me that there's clean air and that there's dirty air. I realized I couldn't take it anymore. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I got sick and tired of the hating, the negativity, the verbal abuse – just everything that I was hearing," Hogan said.
Hogan decided to finalize the divorce from wife Linda in 2009, clearing the way for him to marry his girlfriend, Jennifer McDaniel in 2010. That, he says, also helped him figure out who he is supposed to be and what is truly important in life.
"I now realize I had to go through all this stuff to be who I am today, to make me who I am today," Hogan explained. "And then I realized all that stuff – the peace, love, the joy, that still, small voice, the energy, that God presence – is part of who I'm meant to be."