Michelle Williams Opens Up About Her Healing Process During The Hardest Year Of Her Life
Singer Michelle Williams delved further into her lifelong struggle with depression and promoting mental health awareness in a new interview with Essence.
Williams gets candid on the recent events which led to an unhealthy mental state during her relationship with her ex-fiance, pastor Chad Johnson. The two broke up in December after promoting their OWN reality tv show, Chad Loves Michelle, which took a behind the scenes look of their very public relationship.
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Thank you @essence! You have always handled my most tender moments with care and respect! @charlipenn, Thank you!! @yvettenoelschure, Thank you!! Thank you @teammichelleourbelle for the IG edit and graphics! This exclusive interview originally appears in the July/August 2019 issue of ESSENCE, on stands now. 📸: @catielaffoon
“I was weak, very depressed and thinking it was the end of my life,” she told the outlet. “If someone had asked me where I would be today, I didn’t think I would be alive, because I was so broken.”
Williams said the weight of ending her relationship in the public eye made the process even more painful. “It felt as though I had failed publicly and privately, too, and that was just not like me. And I was like, God, there’s got to be more,” she said. Once she was forced to step down as a lead per her doctor’s request in the Broadway play, Once on This Island, Williams said she had a “nervous breakdown,” the day after.
Prior to her most recent experience with depression, Williams dealt with a wave of emotions last year after her whirlwind engagement to Johnson in March 2018. In the midst of filming the reality tv series and wedding planning, Williams sought help by checking into a mental health facility in July.
“I thought I was over depression. I thought, ‘I’m good!’ I’ve got love, I’m working out,” she told PEOPLE. “But I was so angry. The rage built up in me. I did not attempt suicide, but I was questioning [life].”
Williams’ battle with depression began at a young age and exacerbated as she was thrust into the national spotlight as a member of the Grammy-award winning Destiny’s Child. Being part of one of the biggest female selling groups of all time, did not quell her feelings of low self-worth, but only heightened them. At one point she admitted to being suicidal.
But Williams says she has felt a resurgence of positivity, especially over the last few months. And she’s been looking amazing on the ‘gram, while again giving fans a glimpse into her exercise process as a form of release and therapy.
“I am in a better place now. I am not perfect. I’m not preaching. I’m just telling you what I’m doing right now – I’m sticking to my routine,” she said. “When people say it gets better, it does. It just takes time. The days do get brighter.”
And to deal with the trauma, Williams said she just had to go through it instead of avoiding.
“But then tell yourself you’ve got to get up,” she said. “Because some people won’t tell you to get up or know what to say. I pray you find that inner strength to say, ‘Okay, I’ve been down. I’ve been in this bed too long. I’ve got to get up.’ That’s what I did.”