"I'm so grateful to be where I am now (a year after these photos were taken) but man these times were dark," the actor reflected
Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

As he focuses on his sobriety, Colton Haynes decided to share an important message with his followers on Instagram.

On Sunday, the actor posted a slideshow of photos of himself from his hospitalization last year after a drug and alcohol bender.

“Throwback. I don’t want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy,” he began. “I don’t want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success. I have far more important things to say than what magazine I just shot for or what TV show I’m a part of (Although I’m very thankful I still get to do what I love).”

Colton Haynes in the hospital
Credit: Colton Haynes/ Instagram

“I no longer want to project a curated life,” he continued. “I get immense joy when someone comes up to me & says that my willingness to open up about depression, anxiety, alcoholism, & addiction has helped them in some way. I’ve struggled the past year with trying to find my voice and where I fit in & that has been the most beautiful struggle I’ve ever had to go through. Worrying about what time to post on social media so I can maximize my likes or being mad at myself that I don’t look the same way I did when I was addicted to pills is a complete waste of why I was put on this earth.”

“I’m posting these photos to let y’all in on my truth,” he concluded. “I’m so grateful to be where I am now (a year after these photos were taken) but man these times were dark. I’m a human being with flaws just like you. If [you’re] in the middle of the dark times…I promise you it doesn’t have to last forever. Love y’all.”

He was flooded with support from fans and celebrities alike.

“I’m so proud of you,” commented Serena Williams.

“Love you so much!!!!” wrote Lisa Rinna. “Couldn’t love you more. Brave, Kind and the Real Deal you are my friend.”

“This is beautiful,” wrote Brittany Snow. “[Love] you.”

Haynes, 31, revealed in a cover interview with Attitude Magazine in March that he was six months sober after completing a four-month treatment program. Though he said drinking and drug use had been a part of his life for the past decade, Haynes said his “downward spiral” truly started after he came out as gay in 2016.

With the death of his mother in 2018 and his divorce from husband Jeff Leatham after less than a year of marriage, the actor’s struggles only intensified.

“I fell apart,” he told the magazine. “My brain broke. I was doing a massive comedy for a studio, showed up to work and got fired on the first day. They said I looked as if I had ‘dead in my eyes’, and I did.”

“I got so heavily involved with drugs and alcohol to mask the amount of pain I was feeling that I couldn’t even make some decisions for myself,” he admitted. “I was drowning in my own s—.”

Haynes said he finally hit rock bottom when he woke up in a Los Angeles hotel after a seven-day bender.

“I locked myself in a hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills for seven days and was found in my room with these insane bruises all over my body,” he recalled. “It looked as if somebody had beaten the shit out of me. I couldn’t walk, so I was falling everywhere.”

“I almost ruptured my kidney, ended up in the hospital, ended up in 5150 psyche hold,” he said. “I was on such a destructive path that I could not function.”

He continued: “I lost partial sight in my left eye for a while. I ended up having two seizures. I didn’t know any of this was happening until I was sober enough to remember it.”

The incident, which Haynes called a “rude awakening,” pushed him to seek help. Now, he hopes opening up about his struggles will help end the stigma around addiction and inspire others who are struggling to speak out.

“I’m always going to be in recovery,” he told Attitude. “There are so many people struggling out there, but not a lot of them talk about it. Life is much more beautiful than I could have imagined. It’s just a different life now. It’s the best gift I’ve ever been given.”