Most of the time, memes are hysterical ways for people to joke about topics on the Internet. From deciding the color of a dress to remixing a kid saying, "Damn, Daniel," memes are a great way to laugh about trending topics online. Except when they're not.
Miller candidly stated how he avoided the public eye in 2010 because "first and foremost, I was suicidal." Miller explains how he "suffered in silence" and battled voices in his head that were encouraging him to take drastic measures.
"I've struggled with depression since childhood," he wrote. "It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights."
In desperate need of comfort, Miller turned to food to help him cope with his mental heath issues. And then he says my personal favorite part of his entire post: "And I put on weight. Big f--king deal." (I also loved that he censored himself when he certainly didn't have a reason for doing so.)
Miller then delves into how he came across the hurtful memes and "news stories" — thanks to his mother's "friend," no less — and how those images made him struggle with his deteriorating mental health.
In perhaps his most powerful statement, Miller bluntly writes, "Long story short, I survived. So do those pictures. I'm glad." That red shirt pic now serves as a reminder of all he's gone through, all he's battled, and all he's achieved.
Miller concludes by urging those struggling, or those who know people who are struggling, to reach out to someone and open up about what's going on with them. He also links out to several helpful websites, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The LAD Bible, the Facebook page that shared the meme in question, responded to Miller's post by apologizing and admitting they were wrong. "Mental health is no joke or laughing matter," they wrote.
And it sounds like Miller has inspired them to better themselves as a media site, for they also stated, "We applaud your raw honesty and promise to now cover such matters in the responsible manner that our audience expects."
It's a breath of fresh air to see a well-known publication openly admit their mistake and strive to do better in the future. Let this be a reminder to us all that memes can have serious consequences.
If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, there are ways to get help. Find resources, tips, and immediate help at Half of Us, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.