If you've seen the massively popular television series 'Prison Break' then you definitely know Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield, the architect who gets into prison with the sole motive of freeing his innocent brother who is on death row. This cult TV show has given Wentworth Miller a lot of fame; so much in fact, that he is often known as 'that guy from Prison Break'.
But that is the extent to which most people are aware of his life. Aside from being a long time closeted homosexual, Miller has also struggled with depression and addiction. But these are aspects of his life that he never made public. Recently, Miller came into light again, but not for a role he was playing. He had in fact, turned into an internet meme.
The highly followed meme-sharing page on Facebook called 'The LAD Bible' shared a photo of Miller. It was a comparison of his look from 2010 and that from his days in 'Prison Break'. The photo presented a stark difference. On one side, you could see the skinny and perpetually frowny Michael Scofield, on the other you could see Wentworth Miller looking happy and a little plump. You can even see a hint of a paunch under his t-shirt. The photo caption read "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's monopoly". The image went viral and ultimately came to Miller's social media feed as well.
This kind of body-shaming led to him opening up about a lot of things. Miller addressed the world about his struggles with alcoholism, depression and drugs. He talked about how he has, for years, suffered in silence. He talked about how food was the only thing that helped him cope at that point of his life and it was his only source of happiness.
Miller went on to say that while this meme made him very sad, he connected this photo to his own strength and perseverance. He also urges people to open up about their struggles. He provides a list of websites where depressed or suicidal people can look for help.
Here is the full text from his Facebook post:
"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"
Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time. This one, however, stands out from the...Posted by Wentworth Miller on Monday, March 28, 2016