Lil Wayne shares his challenges with mental health including a childhood suicide attempt.
The five-time Grammy-winning artist appeared on TV host Emmanuel Acho’s “Uncomfortable Conversations” interview series detailing when he was 12 years-old and shot himself in the chest.
Lil Wayne, 38, said he’s “hoping to help anyone else out there who’s dealing with mental health problems” by “being vulnerable” and “brave” and sharing his journey.
“What I wish they knew is that it’s real,” Lil Wayne said. “That it’s real. There is no bar to measure how real. It’s real.”
Wayne said he struggled with mental health issues since the age of 10 years-old. During his adolescence he hit a low point when his mother, Jacida Carter learned he had been skipping school. Fearing that she would tell him he had to stop rapping, he attempted to take his own life at just 12-years old.
Lil Wayne said he called the police and then went into his mother’s bedroom to get her gun. He initially held the gun to his head but got scared and instead decided to shoot himself in the chest. Aiming for his heart, he just missed his artery.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” he recalled. As he went into shock Tha Carter rapper woke up to banging on the door as the police were responding to his call.
Wayne recounts being put in a squad car and being raced to the hospital. In New Orleans waiting for an ambulance would take too long. He also recalled the sheriff telling him over and over, “You’re not going to die on me.”
Lil Wayne goes on to explain his pain of hopelessness came from feeling he couldn’t express himself to his mom. However as a result of his attempted suicide their relationship would never be the same.
“What I never said was: The mom that I knew before that day… I have never met or seen or heard that lady again in my life,” Wayne stated. “So I didn’t die that day, but somebody was gone. She’s never been that way [again].” After seeing her son’s troubles and learning to support him. Wayne adds “Changed life for her, [me] and our whole family.”
The New Orleans native also spoke about how his mental health issues didn’t disappear as he gained fame, he wondered in his 20’s “when it’s all over” would anyone care about him apart from the music he created.
The 38-year-old now says he’s in a better place and “so happy” being able to what he loves. He credits using prayer to with help him when he struggles with his emotions. Weezy says being able to perform, create and help people make him happiest.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, or experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.