The LAD Bible, which bills itself as "one of the largest online communities for guys aged 16-30 in the world," picked Wentworth Miller to be the punch line of a new fat-shaming meme, but the 43-year-old actor-director flipped the script on Monday afternoon and used the opportunity for good.
The meme features side-by-side photos of Miller — one a promotional still of the toned, (faux) tattooed and shirtless actor from Fox series Prison Break which aired from 2005-2009, and another in which he wears a red T-shirt, looking a tad softer and more relaxed — with the joke, "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's monopoly..."
Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time. This one, however, stands out from the...
Miller promptly shared the post and unloaded a brutally honest account of his past struggles with food, depression and suicide.
"Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time. This one, however, stands out from the rest," he writes in the post, shared nearly 50,000 times by the end of the day.
He continues by recalling the days when he "suffered in silence" as a result of depression, something he has struggled with since childhood. "It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights," writes Miller, who first opened up about his mental health in 2013 after he came out of the closet. "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."
As a result, Miller matter-of-factly states, "And I put on weight. Big f---ing deal."
Wentworth Miller through the years:
Wentworth Miller reveals suicidal thoughts, struggles with weight after fat-shaming meme goes viral
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 21: Wentworth Miller visits 'Extra' at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on January 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)
Wentworth Miller trains for his upcoming role in Miramax's 'The Human Stain' starring Anthony Hopkins. at the Hollywood Gym in Hollywood, Utah (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
Wentworth Miller during The 4th Annual Family Television Awards - Press Room and Arrivals at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
ITALY - AUGUST 30: L to R: Robert Benton, Wentworth Miller, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Sinise in Venice, Italy on August 30th, 2003 (Photo by Eric VANDEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
(NO US SALES FOR 90 DAYS, NO TABLOIDS) Wentworth Miller during 2003 Toronto International Film Festival - 'The Human Stain' Press Conference with Nicole Kidman, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Wentworth Miller at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Toronto, Canada. (Photo b
Jacinda Barrett and Wentworth Miller during 2003 Toronto International Film Festival - 'The Human Stain' Dinner at Private Venue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Portrait of actor Wentworth Miller, who shines in a remake of 'Human Stain' opening Oct. 31, 2003. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Wentworth Miller at the Central Park - The Boat House in New York City, New York (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3043 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Wentworth Miller during an interview with host Jay Leno on November 21, 2005 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell of 'Prison Break', winner of Favorite New TV Drama (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Stacy Keach and Wentworth Miller (Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage for Fox Television Network)
Wentworth Miller at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA -AUGUST 28: Actor Wentworth Miller talks at the Four Season's Hotel on August 28, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Piyal Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel Pier in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
Wentworth Miller during MIPCOM 2006 - Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution brings the stars from the worldwide hit Prison Break to Cannes - International Press Conference at Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson Archive/WireImage)
Wentworth Miller, presenter during 2007 Producers Guild Awards - Press Room at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Actor Wentworth Miller at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on September 14th, 2007. (PHOTO BY MUNAWAR HOSAIN / FOTOS INTERNATIONAL / GETTY IMAGES) Reproduction by American tabloids is absolutely forbidden by our contracts with all agencies.
TOKYO - SEPTEMBER 02: Actor Wentworth Miller attends the World Premiere of 'Resident Evil: Afterlife' at Roppongi Hills on September 2, 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open worldwide on September 10. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Cast member Wentworth Miller attends a screening of "The Loft" in Los Angeles January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Phil McCarten (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)
Wentworth Miller of CW's 'Legends of Tomorrow' poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio at the 2016 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portraits)
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It likely wouldn't have been an issue had he not been photographed by paparazzi while hiking in L.A. "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.," he writes. "Fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed."
But Miller concludes that he lived and he hopes others who identify with his experience know that help is available.
"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," he says, even if the meme's existence initially took his breath away, in a bad way. "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."
Also a writer, Miller, seen most recently on the series Legends of Tomorrow, makes use of his skill set with lines like these: "Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist," he writes. "Anyway. Still. Despite."