Celebrity deaths rarely get to me. Usually I feel bad for the family and if they are somebody whose body of work I follow and enjoy sad for the loss but rarely beyond that.
A few days in and I am still shook up about Robin Williams suicide. I couldn't bring myself to post yesterday because I couldn't get this post out and everything else feels utterly meaningless. This post also feels pretty meaningless. With article after article, some powerful and other total clickbait, coming out on the topic it is hard to not feel that way about the subject.
Then I just let myself put on my favorite Robin Williams' movie The Fisher King and cry alone in my living room for awhile.
I am pretty family with depression and mental illness. Back in my teen years my life was kinda hard. Notice the qualifier on that statement because of course my pain isn't really legitimate or valid. But for me it was hard and by my teen years I was cutting myself and attempting suicide. Situational depression that was wrongly treated as chemical depression because I was a minor and couldn't tell them to stop drugging me.
But I got through it, grew up and moved far away and now I am a successful and competent adult with a family and responsibilities. And my life is really not all that hard as far as life goes. Depression gone right? Wrong.
I'm not suicidal or actively depressed. Please note this my loving family that may be reading this. This post is not a call for help before a suicide attempt. But to some degree the depressed and even suicidal thoughts are always there. I am writing this because I don't want to die before my time and leave my family and this life that is often filled with pain. Yet Robin Williams suicide teaches me that no matter how successful I become and how many people love or even look up to me I will never be free. That is when the despair really takes over in my trauma marked survivors brain. Nothing can fully cover up or heal the hole in our heart, brain, soul whatever. And that ignorant people will always accuse us of being weak and how those fears keeps the stigma high and the sufferers silent. Because depression isn't a simple matter of seeing the sunny side of life and be more positive. It is a toxic often hardwired wired way of thinking that is hard if not impossible to completely overcome. We can push it down and focus on our lives, our career or even God more but at least in my case it is always there as a frightening possibility. Because despite popular ignorant blogger material we don't actually want to die and leave our loved ones. We struggle and fight and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
So please go gentle on others. Depressed people often get really good at hiding our pain from the rest of the world. A little bit of kindness can go a long way. And rest in peace my brother in pain Robin Williams, you made it through for 63 years and I hope to learn from you and make it even longer than that. I'm glad that you were here to give so much to the world and I am sorry that it cost you so dearly.
I am ready to get back to my work and keep the demons at bay another day now that I have this out of my system. If you are feeling vulnerable and at risk of suicide and at risk please reach out to trusted friends, family or professionals.
Crisis Services has a 24-hour hotline where you can reach a trained professional. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the 24 Hour Hotline at (716) 834-3131.