On Game of Thrones, Arya Stark is a fearless badass, hell-bent on revenge. The actor that plays her is a badass too, but she still feels pretty vulnerable from time to time. During a recent interview on Fearne Cotton's Happy Place podcast, as reported by E! News, Maisie Williams opened up about struggling with her mental health. While she admitted that the ups and downs are definitely part of the "journey," she's finally starting to figure out how to better focus on herself.
Sometimes it can be tough to remember that celebrities have insecurities just like the rest of us. We see them walking the red carpet with complete confidence, and charmingly chatting their way through interviews. Thanks to their glam squads, they're almost always camera-ready, and their stylists make sure that they're impeccably dressed for any occasion.
That's all just part of their job, though. They get paid to pretend and put on a happy face. While speaking to Cotton on the Happy Place podcast, Williams confessed that she'd taken to putting on a happy face in her personal life, too — but that constantly pretending that everything was OK, ultimately just prevented her from figuring out how to truly be happy.
"Last year, in my own personal life, I think I just went through a lot of real revelations where I was like I'm not very happy doing this and pretending everything was fine," Williams said. "And so, that wasn't a public thing but after going through that, now I've sort of tried to be a lot more genuine and it just becomes a lot more relaxing after that I think. You just drop it all and that's when you can really have fun."
While Williams didn't get into specifics about what was going on in her personal life that provoked her to make those changes, she did make it clear that the changes have definitely helped. The star explained,
"It was the most incredible thing when one morning a few weeks ago I just woke up and I'm like, 'God, all the things I'm doing this week I'm really excited for.' That was like a real breakthrough for me ... I think that's something I want to take with me for the future, try to do more things that I'm excited for rather than what people want me to."
Of course, no matter how much progress you make in terms of working on your mental health, everyone still has bad days — Williams included. "I still lay in bed at like eleven o'clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself," she told Cotton. "There's still a journey, I think. But at least dropping the act and just being who you truly are, I think that's definitely a first step."
It's incredibly brave of Williams to share her journey with fans. Hearing celebrities talk about their struggles with mental health can help normalize it for everyone else, but it's certainly not easy to do.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.