Wentworth Miller Responds to the Fat Shaming Internet Meme. I turned to Food Instead of Drugs When I Was Suicidal

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
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,
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

Wednesday in Philly

No More Running: Living with Social Anxiety Disorder