As the garbage fire of a year that was 2016 comes to a close, it’s a time to reflect on our past and how far we’ve come.
That’s what Colton Haynes has been doing, anyway.
The Arrow star came out as gay earlier this year and has admitted that he’s struggled with mental health issues.
The 28-year-old actor bravely shared his personal diary entries from 2014 with Paper magazine to spread awareness on mental health and "the importance of seeking help”.
"I'm a vampire. A shell. Wishing I was the old Colton," he wrote. "The person who used to love going out and talked to my family/friends. Now I'm so closed off to the world that I can't even get up enough courage to go in public."
He goes on to discuss how he had lost interest in his passions, like working out, which is a key symptom of mental illness.
"There are so many things I want to do in life, but don't know how to start... I don't know who I am anymore," he wrote. "Why can't I just be happy now? In my current situation...I'm always searching for the next thrill, the next break, the next job. To the public eye, my possibilities are endless but in my mind...I'm fading away and battling to hide the pain and emotion that has plagued me my entire life."
He ends the story with a new diary entry that was written two years after he got help and discusses how his life has changed for the better.
"I'm finally in a position where I can say I'm the happiest I've ever been. I've accomplished so much with so little and my smile is finally not forced," he wrote.
"I've taken control of my own life for the first time and won't let anyone silence me. I'm finally free.
"Don't be afraid to seek help," he concluded. "There are so many amazing people out there who can help with anxiety and other mental health issues ... please don't be afraid and know that it gets better."
We are seriously in awe of Colton’s bravery!
Since coming out, he has been an advocate for the LGBT community and even won the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award.
Speaking out about his mental health issues will hopefully encourage other people who are struggling to seek help.