Tyler Perry opens up about his past suicide attempts as he mourns Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss
(CNN) — Tyler Perry is opening up about his mental health history after the death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
Boss, a professional dancer, actor and the former DJ and co-executive producer for the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” died by suicide on Tuesday at age 40.
Perry paid tribute to Boss in a moving Instagram video on Thursday, captioned, “Life.”
“I like the rest of the world am shocked by the death of Stephen Boss, tWitch,” Perry said. “I’ve only met him a couple of times. He was always full of life, he seemed like, such a light.”
The director discussed his own past struggles.
“I just want to take you back to a time in my life when I tried to commit suicide, a couple of times, because it was so dark I didn’t think it would get any better. I had endured so much pain, so much abuse, sexual abuse, it was all so hard to just move through that I thought the only way to make this better was to end my life,” Perry said.
“Had any of those attempts happened, I would’ve missed the best part of my life,” he continued.
Perry encouraged those struggling to reach out for help.
“I know it may seem like there’s no hope, but please reach out to someone. Call, ask for help if you are dealing with anything, anything that is emotionally taking you to a place where you think you want to end your life,” he said.
Perry explained how he got through his own pain, saying: “What I realize now, looking back on all those dark times is, sometimes the pain is a buy-in. I know that’s hard to understand. Not all the time — sometimes — the pain is a buy-in. That’s the way I had to learn to look at it to get through it. What I mean by that is, all that pain, all that hell, all that struggle, if I had given up, if I had stopped, I wouldn’t have seen the better part of my life. So, I was buying into 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 I was able to rationalize it, to be able to move through the pain, knowing that if I could just get through this moment, get through this moment, there’s got to be something better.”
Perry said he is now “the happiest I’ve ever been.”
“I’m saying that to you, if you are a person who’s considering suicide, ending your life, and you’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 would miss the best part of it going through the darkness. Don’t let the darkness stop you from getting to 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’m a living witness you can make it through it.”