Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson opened up about his mental health struggles in an Instagram post on Friday, saying his arrest last year stemmed from a relapse after 23 months of sobriety.

The soon to be 27-year-old voluntarily entered the NHL's substance abuse program after the events that unfolded in June 2018.

"I am currently sober and committed to living a healthy lifestyle so that I can be the father, partner, teammate, and person I want to be," Watson's post read.

Watson - who admitted to dealing with anxiety, depression, and alcoholism since the age of 18 - was handed an 18-game suspension after being arrested for domestic assault.

He pleaded no contest and agreed to a judicial diversion program that would dismiss the charge if he served three months probation and completed treatment and batterer's intervention programs.

Both Watson and his partner Jennifer struggle with alcoholism.

"Jennifer and I are in a good place. We are healthy, happy and committed to our own individual sobriety as well as continuing to strengthen our relationship. We have learned from our mistakes and are excited to move forward in our relationship. We wish only to raise our daughter Olivia in the most healthy and loving atmosphere as we can provide."

The NHL initially suspended Watson for 27 games but an arbitrator reduced the suspension to 18. He was reinstated in November and has six goals and two assists in 28 games with the Predators this season.

Here is Watson's full statement:

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