Being a child star may seem like a dream to some, but the truth is it’s a tough road to travel.
Jonathan Lipnicki, the impossibly adorable child actor in Jerry Maguire, who played Renee Zellweger‘s son, has revealed exactly how difficult life was after his star turn in the hit comedy.
In a bittersweet Instagram post, the 26-year-old revealed all the bullying he endured growing up, being called a “has-been” by his own classmates in high school, and dealing with panic attacks every day at the thought of going to school to endure even more.
But his post has an empowering message too, because now Jonathan is living his dream as a full-time actor and feels stronger than ever!
Read his full message (below)!
Im sharing a little of my experience. It gives me anxiety being this open, but being bullied is a universal problem. I am not a victim, but rather empowered because I was able to turn to my art. I am grateful for the amazing life I have and I hope I can pass on that it DOES get better. As much as it is easier said than done, overcoming being bullied is a reality and I hope this resonates with all of you ├ó┬¥┬ñ├»┬╕┬Å├ó┬¥┬ñ├»┬╕┬Å├ó┬¥┬ñ├»┬╕┬Å├ó┬¥┬ñ├»┬╕┬ÅA post shared by Jonathan Lipnicki (@jonathanlipnicki) on Mar 13, 2017 at 9:13am PDT
After sharing his struggles on IG, the young man was asked to be interviewed, and even though he found it scary as hell, he went for it!
In another post, he wrote:
“I’m here to help others by sharing my experience. I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor and kids will hopefully see that they can be too. I’m telling this story on my own terms. My confidence is built on the many many failures I’ve had. My confidence is built on the fact that I won’t quit.”
Keep up that golden attitude, Jonathan! You’re awesome!
[Image via Jonathan Lipnicki/Instagram.]