Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Colton Haynes isn't the man he used to be.
Sharing two journal entries with the "Outspoken" issue of Paper magazine, the Arrow actor showed readers how his decisions to seek professional help—and to come out publicly—have improved his quality of life. In the first entry, dated Nov. 2, 2014, he said, "Something's been off recently."
"I honestly wake up after five hours of sleep wide-awake. It's probably from the bottle of wine I drank before I finally fell asleep/passed out or the amount of pills I'd had," Haynes said. "I read up on why I'm experiencing numbness and lack of circulation in my hands and feet and it's due to the stimulants I've been taking for quite some time now. It causes the blood flow to move toward the heart therefore removing it from the lesser needed places like my hands and feet."
"What I don't realize is that I will stay in the same place sitting down for five hours and have no idea 'cause I'm so focused, but with nothing t to do, nothing to create, I'm a vampire. A shell. Wishing I was the old Colton," the former Teen Wolf star wrote. "The person who used to love going out and talking 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. I'm afraid of people and have become agoraphobic."
According to Haynes, he would only leave the house for work, liquor, coffee or the "occasional sandwich." His health declined physical ways, too. "I used to look forward to working out and working on my physical appearance to build up the idea of what people think I am," he wrote. "I am not my cover. I am so full of emotion and love and I wish I was able to express that again."
Haynes knew he needed help, but he didn't know how to ask for it. "There are so many things I want to do in this life but I don't know how to start," he said. "I don't know who I am anymore."
Oftentimes, Haynes said he would find himself "looking at old photos or wishing I lived in past experiences." Not once did it make him feel any better. "Why can't I just be happy in the now?"
"I'm always searching for the next thrill, the next break, the next job. My life is a drug. I'm always chasing the next high," the 28-year-old TV star continued. "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. I've cheated, lied and finally owned up to it...I am lonely. This is my fault, though. I don't want to let anyone in. People don't understand the things you give up when you step into the limelight. No one really wants to get to know you."
Of course, a lot can change in two years.
In the second entry, dated Nov. 12, 2016, Haynes laughed about how his close friends will often tease him for being so fond of the past. "I always look at old photos hoping to relive the memory. But what I'm finally realizing is that I can't and wouldn't want to go back to that headspace ever again. So clouded and unsure about myself, my life, my privacy, my mental health. I'm finally in a position where I can say I'm the happiest I've ever been," he wrote. "I've accomplished so much with so little and my smile is finally not forced. I've taken control of my own life for the first time and won't let anyone silence me or my passions ever again."
"I'm finally free. I'm successful. I'm independent...But most of all," he wrote, "I'm outspoken."
The actor shared the article with his 5.5 million Instagram followers late Sunday.
Haynes' full journal entries appear in Paper's "Outspoken" issue.