Zachary Levi Says ‘The Grace Of God’ Saved His Life
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“Shazam,” “Chuck,” and “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” actor Zachary Levi told CBN News about his childhood and upbringing that led him to write his life story in his new book “Radical Love: Learning To Accept Yourself And Others.”
“There wasn’t anything particularly traumatic that I could point to and say I am living a traumatized life,” he told the outlet. “You don’t realize that until far later in life, hopefully. A lot of people don’t realize that. Looking back on it, I can assure you it was an incredibly traumatizing childhood. There was just lots and lots of unhealthy, toxic behavior that was going on. Again, I could tell you that there were things that were making me cry on a regular basis. And things that I was afraid of on a regular basis. But I didn’t necessarily see those as being anything but normal. I guess this is probably what other kids deal with as well. So that would be a snapshot into my life, I suppose.”
Young Lost Boy
“Young Zach was this, I don’t know – this young boy lost in a sea of estrogen, between my sisters, my mom, my aunts, my grandma. But fortunately – and this is the grace of God. Not just the grace of God, but the plans of God. I figured out very early on in life, probably around four when I figured out that I could make someone laugh intentionally. Every kid makes people laugh accidentally. You don’t know why. Around four, I was smart enough to go, ‘I can do this thing, I could do X or Y and that would make somebody laugh’ … and I also knew that a laughing, smiling person feels good,” he continued.
“And I never wanted to stop doing that. And I was immediately called to, addicted to… not realizing that because I was lost in this world of trying to find identity and value and worth, and all of that jazz – that I was both fulfilling a calling in my life, but also figuring out very quickly how to run away from metabolizing my pain… be the guy, bring the happy, bring the joy.” (LEARN MORE: Major News Organization Rejects All Harvard, MIT, Penn Grads Over School’s Antisemitism)
Battles With Depression
After leaving Los Angeles, California, for Austin, Texas, Levi’s life felt like a “failure.” “I didn’t know anyone out there, and all of a sudden after 15 years of living in Los Angeles, having community and support structure, I was now alone…. I have blown up my life. I have now entirely failed. There is no coming back from this failure,” he said, adding: “I would say if suicide was climbing a ten-rung ladder, I was at rung nine.” (LEARN MORE: Jelly Roll’s ‘Damascus Road’ Encounter)
“Thankfully, I have family that surrounded me and supported me, were there for me, just enough for me to get up and go to therapy, life-saving therapy. It was a perfect storm. It was 37 years of lots and lots of trauma, unhealed trauma. A real testament to how I think God works, and what we ought to prioritize…. I didn’t understand that. So to go away and do this therapy, finally, and figure out I haven’t loved myself my entire life. And oh, this feeling that I have inside? That’s anxiety. I am glad I finally know what anxiety is.”
Following this powerful work, Levi landed his role in “Shazam.”
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