Monday’s World Suicide Prevention Day inspired Hayley Williams to open up about her own mental health.
The 29-year-old Paramore frontwoman, who has been vocal about her battle with depression in the past, wrote a series of emotional tweets on Tuesday — admitting that she’s “trying to get healthier now.”
“I just wanna say that when my mind was super dark and hopeless, there was a part of me that felt safe being cynical and shut down,” she wrote. “I’m trying to get healthier now… and it’s a lifestyle shift.”
Helping Williams in that shift has been focusing on the positives.
“Sometimes it feels uncomfortable… and I don’t always do it well… but i hope that if you struggle with darkness that you will try and remember to feel joy when it comes. I’m trying too,” she said. “Sometimes I feel like I probably look less ‘cool’ or I worry that I’m somehow faking it. But I try hard to call out and recognize joy when I feel it, or even when I see it on my friends. Thankful for any chance to feel a genuine smile… not only on my face but deeper than that.”
She ended her tweets with an inspirational message of support. “If you feel darkness, I hope you’ll wait for joy,” she said. “It will come again and its worth it.”
“For the first time in my life, there wasn’t a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel,” she said in the chat, which was published in June 2017. “I thought, ‘I just wish everything would stop.’ It wasn’t in the sense of, ‘I’m going to take my life.’ It was just hopelessness. Like, ‘What’s the point?’ I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts.”
“I just was done,” she added. “I thought, There’s gotta be something else that I’m good at in my life. Maybe it’s time for me to go find that.”
During that time, Williams married New Found Glory guitarist Gilbert in February 2016 after nearly eight years together. They split in July 2017.
Songwriting became an outlet for Williams to help her work through things, she said on Instagram this June. Through that, she learned she never knew her true self.
“I didn’t know the person behind those words. Probably because I never before allowed her to come out and say how she really felt. I never cared to get to know her,” she said. “[Writing] helped me understand that emotional wellness and physical health are actually related. It helped me realize that I shouldn’t have ever married my ex and that love is not something we can just extract from one other.”
She added, “Writing opened my heart to healing. I’m alive to both pain and joy now. I have my old laugh back, as my mom says. The one that takes over my body and sends me out of myself for a few seconds. And only a couple years ago, I had hoped I’d die.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).