Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has revealed his heartbreaking past in a thoughtful response to a meme that mocked his weight gain six years ago.
The LAD Bible posted this meme of two images of the now 43-year-old actor with the caption: "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's monopoly..."
Miller responded by posting a Facebook message describing how seeing the image made it "hurt to breathe" because it reminded him of a time when he was depressed and suicidal.
The actor explained how the picture on the right was taken at a dark period in his life:
First and foremost, I was suicidal.
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.
He continued to describe how he had been hiking in Los Angeles with a friend when the pair bumped into the filming of a reality TV show. Unknown to Miller, he caught the attention of some paparazzi.
They snapped his image and published it in a popular national magazine alongside headlines like "Hunk to Chunk."
A friend of Miller's mother sent her the images. She was concerned for his health and called him. At the time, it was "the last thing" he needed. However, the image has a silver lining. He said:
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.
Miller finished the post with the heartwarming thought that despite the image's power to shock him still, it also has meaning of "strength," "healing" and "forgiveness."
11 hours after his response was posted it had amassed almost 300,000 likes and over 80,000 shares. There are also over 35,000 comments — many from people sharing their experiences of also overcoming depression:
The Lad Bible admitted they had been in the wrong through a post pinned to the top of their page containing a profuse apology:
The interchange reminds the Internet that memes need to be mindful of their potentially hurtful effect on their subject, and of the struggles that many people face every day.
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