Face of the day

 

Today’s face of the day is Wentworth Miller, a talented actor whom I watched recently in the series Prison Break on Netflix.

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.

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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.

I’m glad.

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

www.afsp.org
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
www.activeminds.org
www.thetrevorproject.org
www.iasp.info

 

 

 


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  • Someone always cares.

    Suicides leave devastating holes among people who can’t understand they weren’t asked for help.

    • MaryLou

      If only it really was that easy. When there is someone you love more than life itself who refuses to talk, refuses help, and seems determined to self destruct, it seems there is little one can do. Except keep trying, and hope. And try to stay intact yourself.

      • People who want to take their lives invariably just do it. The drama queens tend to do it by accident as part of the twisted performance they put on. I know that’s a bit of a generalisation that will have exceptions, but there are huge differences between attention seeking and suicide, even though one may lead to the other eventually.

      • spanishbride

        Loving someone with depression is a very hard road that I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is very important that you do not let yourself be dragged down with them. You need to stay intact as you say for your own sake as well as for their sake. You cannot be strong for them and for others who need you if you go down as well.Make time for yourself. Go out without them and be with people who make you feel good about yourself. Do things that you enjoy so that you can recharge your batteries. In my case I didn’t accept the person refusing help. I made it very clear that they needed to get help or I would leave.Even when they got help life was really hard but I would not have stuck by them if they had not been prepared to help themselves first.It is like with an alcoholic they cannot get well until they admit they have a problem.

    • Aylene Price

      It’s just so hard to believe that anyone could care when you hate yourself so much, and you know that ‘you’ can’t be fixed anyway. I agree with what you are saying, but hard to act on when you are in that place.

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