Photographs are the ultimate barometer for what you're going through in your life at any given moment. They catch the pain, the joy, and everything in between.
A recent meme on Facebook pushed one of these to the forefront for actor Wentworth Miller, and he had something to say about it.It all started with a meme that showed him in two different shots side by side. One during his Prison Break days, and one taken later that showed the actor with a bit more weight. The meme stated, "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's monopoly...".
It's been making the rounds, and the actor recently broke his silence on the topic via a lengthy Facebook post, which I've included for you below.
"Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.
This one, however, stands out from the rest.
In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, I was suicidal.
This is a subject I've since written about, spoken about, shared about.
But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.
Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.
I've struggled with depression since childhood. It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.
In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.
And I put on weight. Big f--king deal.
One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. "Hunk To Chunk." "Fit To Flab." Etc.
My mother has one of those "friends" who's always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.
In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.
Long story short, I survived.
So do those pictures.
Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.
Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.
Anyway. Still. Despite.
The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.
Of myself and others.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They're waiting to hear from you. Much love. - W.M. #koalas #inneractivist #prisonbroken"
As someone who can empathize with his situation, I get how seeing this can bring back unwanted memories, and having thousands of people weigh in with their opinion of you without any real substantive knowledge of what you're going through isn't what someone wants to deal with on a given Monday morning. It's more about what the weight signifies to him that some should be sensitive to, rather than the weight itself.
I also echo his sentiments about reaching out for help, and to be aware of the people around you. You never know who might be dealing with it on their own, and there's no need to.