Out actor shares diary entries to show how far he’s come
What a difference two years can make.
Out actor Colton Haynes is sharing journal entries two years apart to show how imperiled his mental health was while in the closet and how much it has improved since stepping out.
Haynes does a ‘Mental Health Check In’ for Paper.com and first shares a November 2014 entry made while he was working on The CW series Arrow in Vancouver.
‘Now I’m so closed off to the world that I can’t even get up enough courage to go in public. I’m afraid of people and have become agoraphobic. When I do leave the house it’s for work, the liquor store, or to grab coffee and an occasional sandwich from the store to suppress the hunger.
‘I used to wake up and look forward to working out and working on my physical appearance to build up the idea of what people think I am. I am not my cover. I am so full of emotion and love and I wish I was able to express that again.
‘To the public eye, my possibilities are endless but in my mind…I’m fading away and battling to hide the pain and emotion that has plagued me my entire life. … I got myself into this mess and even though I am losing the battle right now…I won’t in the long run. Mark my words.’
A journal entry made two years and two weeks later paints a far different picture.
In the time in between, Haynes has come out publicly as a gay man and been open about his struggles with anxiety and depression.
‘I’m finally in a position where I can say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve accomplished so much with so little and my smile is finally not forced.
‘I’ve taken control of my own life for the first time and won’t ever let anyone silence me or my passions ever again. I’m finally free.’
He has this advice for others: ‘Don’t be afraid to seek help. There are so many people out there who put their jobs first and their mental health last…and trust me…it will creep up on you. There are so many amazing people out there who can help with anxiety and other mental health issues…please don’t be afraid and know that it gets better.’