Photos courtesy of Trenni Kusnierek.
She is sitting in a closet, and she is all alone, and she is bawling, and she cannot stop.
Trenni Kusnierek has just come home to Milwaukee, an all-too-rare occurrence for the budding national TV personality. It is 2009, and her new job with the fledgling MLB Network takes her from its New York studios to ballparks all over the country. Just never enough to Milwaukee.
She loves this place, adores its sports teams and its people, relishes running its streets and biking its trails. It’s where she was born and schooled, where she cut her broadcasting teeth, where family and friends always welcome her back with the warmth of a summer day.
And that’s why, on this summer night, those loved ones have gathered at her boyfriend’s house. They are upstairs in the midst of revelry. She is downstairs in the midst of misery. “Normally, I’d be singing and dancing,” she says, just what you’d expect from the bubbly blonde behind the microphone. But now, normal is nowhere to be found. She’s trying to feign happiness, as she’d done so many times before, but this time it doesn’t work. People try to engage her, but her mind’s too foggy to match their efforts. “It was like, robotic,” she says. “And so I excused myself.”
She goes downstairs, into her boyfriend’s bedroom, but this is still not far enough away. She goes farther, now into his walk-in closet, and slumps to the ground. The tears begin, and she feels like they’ll never end.
“What is wrong?” she recalls thinking. And as she’s telling the story, now three summers later inside the far less-confining walls of Alterra at the Lake, the tears begin again. Just a few this time, though, and they’re easily wiped away. “I’m sorry,” she says, and continues the tale, the words spilling out faster now.
“I was sobbing and rocking back and forth and I literally, at that point, I was like, I don’t even want to live anymore. Like, this is the worst feeling in the world. And you can’t tell anyone because people will think you’re crazy.”
She is not crazy.
She does need help.
“I had this six-figure job, with makeup people and hair people and, like, 10,000 Twitter followers. I had this smart, attractive, funny boyfriend. And I just could not snap out of it.
“That’s when I decided to go back on antidepressants.”
The relationship with her boyfriend was over in a month. Her stay in New York would end later that year. She simply had to move home, back to her support network, back to a better sense of stability. And while she spent another year working for MLB Network from her Milwaukee base, they agreed to part company in 2010. Her run on national TV had ended.
Her rejuvenation was just beginning.