By this time, thousands of posts have been written about Robin Williams’ death. Most I’ve read are flawless. Some are tributes, but with a nuance I find disturbing….
I’m sure everyone (like me) wants to know “why.” It sucks, doesn’t it? This beautiful soul that bought laughter to millions across the world for decades. He’s seemingly touched everyone’s life in someway or another. The funniest man in the world. The king of laughs. One of a kind. A family member to us all.
Unfortunatly, I can’t tell you exactly why, but I would like to address some of the seemingly harmless statements I’ve heard. These statements lie in the gray area and often go unnoticed – because they aren’t meant to harm or to dispute character or are even meant disrespectful. But I have something to say; and I really do want to share some things about depression that I want people to know. Here are some statements I’ve heard following his death:
“You’re 63 with 3 children and seemingly SO much- you’d take your own life? you’re 63 man- finish this thing out!”
“I’m no longer a fan. I can’t forgive him for this”
“He’s so funny! Why would he do this?”
“He’s the last person on earth I thought would do this because his life is laughter!”
First of all, let me start by assuming that anyone reading this doesn’t know me (probably true). I’m a 27 year old woman. I live in a very nice suburban home, came from a christian family, have true friends, have a wonderful companion in my husband, am educated, valued, a hard worker. I’ve been given many awards for both work and things like voted “most talented” and “most popular.” I’ve got it good.
I suffer from depression
It is, above all, a completely unfair and unexplainable disease. And that’s why NOTHING will ever explain Robin’s death, not even the Parkinson’s Disease, because it is unjust and cruel. It is a disease without reason. That’s why being 63 with 3 children doesn’t matter, and most of all, that’s why his humor didn’t have a damn thing to do with this. To the world, his humor was untouchable, but to Robin, it’s very possible that he felt he lost it.
It is a disease that consumes the mind. All of it – emotional, logical, ethical, creativity…ALL of it. It takes WHO you are. And when you get that low, you’re not thinking like you normally would be. I’ve been depressed enough to consider suicide as a viable option. When you’re in your good states, you don’t even recognize that part of yourself – it feels a little like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. But I’ve got to tell you, when you’re in your bad states, you don’t remember that. You feel like a burden on everyone’s life. You hate yourself when you see quotes that say things like “today, chose to be happy,” and you try…GOD, do you try….and you can’t. And because of that, you sink further down and hate yourself more.
“What is wrong with me?? Why can’t I just be good? Why can’t I just be happy?”
I’ve never cut myself, or actually attempted suicide. But I promise this thoughts are mental abuse on your own brain. and then comes the support: “You should get involved with a church group! That will make you feel better!” or “let’s get a drink! You’ll feel better!” or even the tougher ones “you’re a strong, capable, privileged woman. The bottom line is you have everything you could possible need. Get it together.”
“Yes…I do….then why do I feel like this? Why can’t I get out of it?”
You might even feel like you can fool yourself once and a while by “choosing” to be happy. It makes things worst. The monster is right there waiting for you when you take off the mask. It’s a disease of the mind. It controls you. It’s like a a bug caught in a spider’s web: the more you struggle to get away, the more it consumes you. If you stay alive, you’re still just struggling and stagnant. For those few moments I considered suicide as a viable option, I can’t explain it. All I can tell you is that in those moments, it felt like the best option. Maybe for the reason or not burdening anyone else with my problems, Maybe for not being “Debbie Downer” anymore, maybe for not hurting anymore (or worse, when you get past the point of hurting and into the place where you feel nothing), maybe for not having to see the people you love and care about be so hurt or helpless in your presence anymore. I can also tell you that in that “feel nothing” place, hurt turns into a good emotion, because it means that you feel something. That you are alive and human. The bottom line of it is that there is no. damn. reason. It’s a murder. It’s not you. It’s not who you really are. It’s something that’s hijacked you.
I am depressed. I am a great person. I am selfless. I serve other. I’ve seen counselors. I take medication. It doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in full support of continuing the battle to fight the disease. But I can tell you as a person that has been doing it for over 10 years, it’s taxing, and it’s hard, and there’s very little hope of ever truly leaving it (cue “Hotel California” song).
PLEASE. For anyone out there struggling with this disease (and I say this for myself as well): FIGHT. Let Robin Wiliams be and inspiration of what happens after death. You are worth it. You are loved. You are loved and important.
To everyone else (and please note being sad and being depressed are different things), please have mercy. Please be understanding. You’re not expected to understand, and please don’t try to connect like you do. Just let the person know that you love them, that you don’t know what’s going on, but you will be right beside them the whole way while they figure it out. Please have mercy on those that have committed suicide. They were not in their right mind, they were more than likely trying to act selflessly instead of selfishly, it’s an impluse made or incorrect and delusional knowledge.
Let us all try to understand, even if we do not agree, before disposing because of judgement. It’s real. And I’m glad it’s being talked about. And I’m so very glad for Robin William’s life.