Destiny’s Child Star Michelle Williams Opens Up About Mental Health
Published on December 22, 2019
On the December 4 episode of The Masked Singer, it was revealed Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams was the singer behind the Butterfly all along. During her time on the hit series, Williams opened up about her struggles with her mental health, now inspiring others with her story.
Concealing Her Identity
The Masked Singer is one of the most unusual and captivating shows ever made. Every week, fans are provided clues about masked celebrities. They have to figure out the identity behind the masks through clue packages, but they can also try to determine the celebrities through their song performances.
The reality show’s second season has featured many famous celebrities, including Kelly Osbourne, Raven-Symone, Patti LaBelle, Johnny Weir, Ana Gasteyer, Sherri Shepherd, and others. Many fans didn’t have any trouble identifying Michelle Williams. They recognized her voice, but they also picked up on important clues about Williams’ difficult past.
Opening Up About Her Mental Health
It took a while for Williams to open up about her struggles with mental health. In 2018, she sought treatment for depression after ending her engagement with pastor and professional sports chaplain Chad Johnson. Before their breakup, the couple starred in their own reality series, Chad Loves Michelle.
Williams’ depression led her to take a leave of absence from her involvement in the Broadway production of Once On This Island. Johnson commented that he was unaware of her depression. He said, “The relationship just seemed to be slipping out of my hands. I could see her spiraling, but I had no idea that it was depression.”
Williams previously struggled with depression and everyone thought she was making strides to improve her mental health. But after her breakup, she found herself back to where she was. She knew she needed help.
“I was like, ‘Just fight it, you’ve been here before,’” Williams said. “I’m identifying it…I just didn’t do enough…so for months, I was slipping and slipping and slipping and before you knew it, I was at the bottom of the pit looking up like, ‘Am I really here again?’ And I suffered by myself. I didn’t want to tell anybody.”
Inspiring Others As ‘The Butterfly’
Williams used her opportunity on The Masked Singer to inspire others about mental health. Her clue packages openly discussed her struggles. She cried after her performances, telling the panel that this experience was allowing her to get her strength back.
“What better way than to emerge and say, ‘I’m taking my power back. I’m getting my strength back,’” Williams said. “I’m going to be okay and start knocking these obstacles out.”
After Williams was eliminated from the reality series and her true identity was revealed, she opened up about her experience on the show in an extended interview. She felt she could finally be herself, and that was ultimately liberating.
“It was therapeutic for me. So, I’m here. I’m still getting my work and healing,” she said. “I’m leaving [the show] on the top of the world. I appreciate everything about me more. I appreciate the opportunity to share my gift to the world.”
Williams is now telling herself to also feel this way when she’s no longer wearing the mask. She felt liberated and free as the Butterfly, but now she has to feel this way as just herself. It might take her a while to reach her goal, but she’ll get there.
Williams concluded by sharing an inspiring message with her fans: “Do what you need to do so you can be bold and do the work so you can walk with confidence. It’s okay if you have to isolate. It’s okay if you have to eliminate certain pressures around you so you can be great. Don’t let anyone rob you of that.”