Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has made a name for himself in Hollywood — Still even though he seems to have it all, The Rock reveals that for a portion of his life, he struggled with depression that left him feeling hopeless and alone.
Johnson shared his private battle with Oprah‘s Master Class in an effort to show others dealing with depression that there is light at the end of the tunnel, regardless of how it may seem at the time. “I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” he said. “You’re not the first to go through it, you’re not going to be the last to go through it and oftentimes you feel like you’re alone and you feel like it’s only you and you’re in your bubble. I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.'”
He described how getting rejected by the NFL and then cut by the Canadian Football League led to his depression. At age 23, he was living in his parents’ apartment, unsure what would become of his life. Six weeks later, he got a call from the Calgary Stampeders asking him to return to football. He declined, and instead told his father that he planned to follow in his footsteps as a pro wrestler. His dad was less than enthusiastic. “He said, ‘You are throwing it all away. It is the worst mistake you will ever make. You’re ruining your career,'” Johnson remembered. “I said, ‘Maybe I’ll be no good, but I feel like, in my heart, I have to do this.'”
Now, 43-year-old Johnson is on top of the world. The Rock would go on to be one of the most popular pro wrestlers of his era, parlaying that success into a long and lucrative career in acting. And to top it all off, as Radar reported, Johnson is expecting a daughter with his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Hashian.
Today, as the man who was rejected by the NFL stars in the Showtime series Ballers, about a pro football player turned financial planner to the gridiron greats — he reflects on his ascent from the dark shadows of depression. “You’ve just got to remember, hold on to that fundamental quality of faith, have faith, and on the other side of your pain is something good.”