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Tyler James Williams’ resurgence has been nothing short of amazing, but now he’s revealing one of life’s hardships.

In a new interview with Men’s Health, Williams revealed that an undiagnosed disease nearly ended his life. It all occurred when he was in his 20s but was constantly offered roles to play a high schooler.

He called himself a “hard-gainer” and decided to bulk up, hoping his stature would make him look older. So he started to force-feed himself, lift heavy and even hiring several trainers.

Williams recalls weighing just 130 pounds in 2017 while gruelingly traveling for Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Detroit before his body let him know it was time for a break due to immense stomach pain.

“I was really pushing my body to the limit,” he says. “By the time December hit, it just crashed. Everything shut down.”

It wasn’t until he went to NYU Langone and was told to get a colonoscopy but he couldn’t even stomach the prepared drink before the procedure. So the doctors used X-rays to determine that his bowels were extremely inflamed and clogged with scar tissue, meaning he had Crohn’s disease, which was news to him. He underwent emergency surgery to remove six inches of the lower intestine, but his condition just worsened as he had septic shock because of his body’s reaction to the infection.

He’d dropped to 105 pounds, had an ostomy bag for several months, and remembers what it felt like be septic.

“The last thought I had was Holy sh-t, this could be it. If this is it, I’m not happy. I worked a lot. I did a lot of things. I didn’t enjoy any of this. This can’t be it,” he told Men’s Health.

Eventually, his health improved, and he had a new goal, revealing, “When I woke up and eventually got back to [being] myself, it was like, what would make it not suck?”

He discovered that he wanted to play more “purpose-driven” gigs like his role as Gregory Eddie on ABC’s Abbott Elementary.

Williams has changed his diet, paid more attention to his body, and developed an exercise routine that fits his lifestyle.

Learn more about his journey here and gain a few workout tips too.

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