These days, former Nine Muses member Ryu Sera has shed the difficulties of idol life, enjoying success as a YouTuber with over 180,000 subscribers. However, Sera’s journey to become her happy and authentic self hasn’t been easy. In fact, the star recently opened up about almost taking her own life in a new interview with The Korea Times.
Ryu Sera spent almost four years as a member of Nine Muses before she was kicked out of the group without her knowledge due to her vocal criticism of the sexy concept forced upon the members. But while leaving the group may have freed her from the revealing clothing and sexualized image that troubled her, her new found freedom didn’t fix all her problems.
In a new interview, Sera revealed that after leaving the group, she had to stay away from television for a while. “Even watching someone on TV had me imagining and feeling the pressure they were likely dealing with,” she explained—and she was already dealing with pressures of her own.
Tragically, Sera confessed, “I lost the motivation to live and felt that I had nothing more to lose.” The struggles she was experiencing mounted up so high that she even began envying others who had chosen the path of suicide. Whenever she heard that someone had taken their own life, she couldn’t help but wish she could do the same.
I know this might sound a little alarming, but whenever I got word of people who had taken their own lives, I envied their courage to live or die on their own terms because I didn’t have the guts to make that same determination. That’s how I was back then.
— Ryu Sera
Alongside depression, Sera was also suffering from panic disorder, ADHD, and insomnia at the time. “You name it, and I had them all,” she says. Naturally, it was very difficult for the former idol to deal with multiple comorbid mental health concerns, leading to very extreme thoughts. But, the turning point came when she appeared on Miss Back.
MBN‘s Miss Back, which aired from October last year to January this year, was a reality show revolving around former female idols who slowly faded from the limelight. Other participants included After School‘s Raina, Dal Shabet‘s DALsooobin, T-ARA‘s Soyeon. During its runtime, the show was praised for giving these idols an outlet to talk about the severe hardships they endured during their careers.
“Up until [Miss Back],” says Ryu Sera, “I had lived my entire life trying to hide my weaknesses.” During the show, however, Sera explains she was able to “completely open up and be more honest“—not just with viewers, but with herself. That said, Sera says she was still “seriously ill” back then, and her Miss Back appearance didn’t start out so positive. In fact, since the show’s panel was full of people she knew, she actually saw it as an opportunity to say her final goodbyes before taking her own life.
However, Sera revealed, the severity of her mental health trouble at the time is what gave her the ability to open up so honestly—”because I didn’t care about life anymore.” Ultimately, the show ended up changing Sera’s course for the best.
“I’m doing much better,” says Sera now. While she’s still being treated for two mental health conditions, she says she’s “managed to overcome the rest.” Although it’s been just a year since she was struggling so severely, Sera has bloomed throughout 2020, much to the happiness of her fans.