Sunday evening, Arrow star Colton Haynes took a different tone on his Instagram account as he addressed how projecting “a curated life” has taken a toll on his mental health.
The post, which he labeled ‘Throwback,’ included a collection of selfies from what appear to be past hospital stays. The images are a stark contrast from his Instagram’s usual fare of frolicsome, sunlit beach moments and model-perfect photos.
And that would be the point.
“I don’t want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy,’ penned the 31-year-old. “I don’t want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success.”
The former Teen Wolf actor shared with his 6.4 million followers that today he feels “immense joy” when someone shares that his “willingness to open up about depression, anxiety, alcoholism, & addiction has helped them in some way.”
In March of this year, Haynes openly addressed his struggles with mental health and addiction with Attitude Magazine saying, “In 10 years, there were maybe 25 days I didn’t drink.”
He added that he had achieved six months of sobriety at the time.
In his recent Instagram post, he admits that while he’s “struggled the past year” with trying to “find his voice” and where he “fits in,” he regards the journey as “the most beautiful struggle I’ve ever had to go through.”
Pointing to his social media accounts, Haynes says he regrets the time he’s spent worrying about “what time to post on social media so I can maximize my likes,” calling those concerns ” a complete waste of why I was put on this earth.”
The point of the hospital photos, which he says were taken a year ago, is to “let y’all in on my truth.”
Reflecting back on what he describes as “dark” times, he offers candidly, “I’m a human being with flaws like you.”
He closes the note with a word of encouragement to his fans: “If ur in the middle of the dark times…I promise you it doesn’t have to last forever.”
You can read the full Instagram post from Haynes below.
View this post on Instagram
Throwback. I don’t want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy. I don’t want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success. I no longer want to project a curated life. 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. 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 ur in the middle of the dark times…I promise you it doesn’t have to last forever. Love y’all ❤️
The practice of chasing ‘Likes’ on Instagram has become an issue of late as Facebook (which owns Instagram) recently announced the platform is currently running a test in seven countries where ‘Likes’ will no longer be visible to followers. Instagram says it wants viewers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”