Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, call or text 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to connect with a trained counselor or visit the Lifeline site.
Tyler Perry is opening up about his mental health history after the death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
Boss, a professional dancer, actor and former DJ and co-executive producer of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” committed suicide Tuesday at age 40.
Perry paid tribute to Boss in a moving Instagram video on Thursday, titled “Life.”
“I like that the rest of the world is shocked by the death of Stephen Boss, tWitch,” Perry said. “I’ve only seen him a couple of times. He was always full of life, he seemed like a light ”.
The director opened up about his own past struggles.
“I just want to take you back to a time in my life where I tried to kill myself, a couple of times, because it was so dark I didn’t think it would get better. I had endured so much pain, so much abuse, sexual abuse, it was all so hard to get over that I thought the only way to make this better was to end my life,” Perry said.
“If any of those attempts had happened, I would have missed the best part of my life,” he continued.
Perry encouraged those who are struggling to seek help.
“I know it may seem hopeless, but please reach out to someone. Call, ask for help if he is dealing with something, anything that is taking him emotionally to a place where he thinks he wants to end his life,” he said.
Perry explained how she overcame her own pain, saying: “What I realize now, looking back on all those dark times, is that sometimes pain is an acceptance. I know it’s hard to understand. Not all the time, sometimes pain is an acceptance. That’s the way I had to learn to look at it to get over it. What I mean by that is, all that pain, all that hell, all that fighting, if I had given up, if I had stopped, I would not have seen the best part of my life. So, I was buying something, I was paying for something.”
He added: “I know that doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but for me, it was the way that I was able to rationalize it, to be able to get through the pain, knowing that if I could get through this moment, get through this moment, there has to be something better.”
Perry said she is now “happier than ever.”
“I’m telling you, if you’re a person who’s considering committing suicide, ending their life, and they’ve already been through a lot of hell, please, please, please think about what the other side could be.” he said. “It could be amazing. And you’d miss the best part going through the dark. Don’t let the darkness stop you from reaching this incredible place of life.”
Perry shared resource information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“My hope is that if you need help, that you reach out. Call this number. God bless you. I’m with you,” Perry said. “I am a living witness that you can get over it.”