Since he was taken to the hospital in August after an apparent suicide attempt, Owen Wilson
has occasionally emerged from seclusion for a ritual of his recovery—swimming in the bracing waters off of Malibu, where he is building a home. On Sept. 22 the actor, 38, was waved in by a lifeguard. "The water must have been too rough for Owen to swim in," says another lifeguard. "There are riptides." The same might be said of Hollywood. Pals say Wilson is in no hurry to plunge back into acting—lying low as his new movie, The Darjeeling Limited
, hit theaters; dropping out of Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder
(he was replaced by Matthew McConaughey
); and keeping mum about whether he will still star in the upcoming Marley & Me
. "Owen looks at acting as his downfall," says a source. "He may be done." Instead the Texan, who has been spending quality time with friends such as Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis (who has written about his own struggle with addiction), wants to focus on his writing. But work isn't a priority. "He wants his privacy now," says pal Woody Harrelson. "He's doing incredibly." Adds the source: "Owen knows a comeback could take a very long time. He is talking about packing it in and concentrating on a stress-free, non-L.A. lifestyle." And taking it slow every step of the way. "This is the chance to make some life-changing decisions," says the source. "And that's what he is doing."