Michelle Williams Emotionally Recalls Suicidal Thoughts: How She Overcame Mental Health Struggles (Exclusive)
By Zach Seemayer
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Michelle Williams is opening up about her mental health struggles and how she overcame her issues through the darkness. The singer joined ET's Kevin Frazier to reflect on her life and her mental wellness journey, beginning in the early days of her music career.
Looking back at her time in the megahit girl group Destiny's Child, Williams said, "It was a lot of pressure."
"In the beginning I was so excited because there were two young ladies, we were like minded, shared the same values and morals. there was no pettiness, no backbiting, none of that girly, catty stuff. So I think that's what kind of helped me," she recalled.
Williams joined Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in Destiny's Child in 2000, following the departure of LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett, whose exit from the group was famously acrimonious. Because of the heated split, Williams said that Beyonce was still struggling, as she'd long been friends with the former bandmates.
"When I met them, they were going through a transition," she recalled. "You think you're gonna conquer the world with your best friends, friends that you grew up with and then that get's torn apart."
While Beyonce and Rowland were welcoming and Williams enjoyed the camaraderie, the pressure of Destiny's Child and popularity weighed on her.
"I began to feel overwhelmed, [and] I was like, 'What do I do? Do I tell them?'" she shared. "Even today, when we now talk about it, they're like, 'Man, Michelle, we wish you would have said something to us.' But now we talk about everything, so there's no secrets."
In 2006, the trio disbanded and left Destiny's Child behind to pursue solo careers. The breakup, however, was tough for Williams, and remained so even after their reunion appearances -- first at the Super Bowl in 2013, and then at their high-profile performance at Coachella in 2018.
Just a few months after their Coachella appearance, Williams began dealing with a deep depression and thoughts of suicide.
"That was back in July of 2018 when I had to check in to a facility and I was like, 'OK, no more,'" she explained. "I did not take anything with me that day that I checked in. There was a nurse who felt so bad for me, she went to target and brought me clothes."
Looking back now, Williams said she was "too comfortable with the thoughts of dying, too comfortable with the thoughts of suicide," and even then she felt shame in that. But after getting help, it's made her realize the true value of her existence and she said she doesn't "take it for granted anymore."
"Even after things happened with me in 2018 with the hospitalization, with everything kind of crumbling, they opened up their doors, they opened up their home, they opened up their kitchen and just fed me and loved on me," she shared. "We have a pretty pretty special relationship."
With her book, Williams says she's looking to "give someone else a voice and to let them know that they're not alone. And to take the shame out of things that we go through."
"My thing is to hopefully help make somebody strong enough to say, 'Alright, let me go process this pain and this trauma so that the rest of my life, emotionally, I'm leading and I'm loving from a more healed, whole place," she added.
Williams' book, Checking In: How Getting Real About Depression Saved My Life - and Can Save Yours, comes out May 25.